Jazz age fantasy

I was recently obsessed with New York 1926. If you think that rings a bell, it might be because it is the setting for 2016's Jazz Age fantasy, Fantastic Beasts, which I saw, and alone of all Harry Potter things fell in love with. Partly this was because it was about adults facing, sort of, adult problems.... Continue Reading →

Islands and inspiration – how islands can make a great story

I could go all metaphorical here and say that every writer is an island because ideas must spring from the writer's head alone... But I won't. I'm thinking about real islands and why I like them and why we humans are so fascinated by them. I also suggest some specific islands that could inspire your... Continue Reading →

R – ReadingWeek – commit to reading usefully

Well, it's the last day of April, but I still have 8 letters to go in my blogging challenge. The challenge was to blog for 26 out of 30 days in April, one post per letter of the alphabet, and I managed OK for the first 2 weeks, and then tailed off as existing commitments... Continue Reading →

Q – quick inspiration, mind inputs from sight and sound

Sometimes you need to take a break from creating. If you've been outputting your imagination intensively, you'll need to rest and refuel. Treat your mind to some inputs from these sources. Sight I am often inspired by the visual so firstly: Search on Tumblr - people create amazing art and take inspiring photos. There are writing... Continue Reading →

N – No ideas but still need to blog? How to get content ideas

If you plan to blog regularly, you will need a regular supply of material to blog about. If you've been blogging for a while, you may have already plucked the low-hanging fruit - the ideas which first prompted you to start writing, the hot topics which pushed your buttons. But now you still need fresh... Continue Reading →

L – Love and romance when you’re not in the mood to write it

If you write romance, or have a romantic subplot in your story, you have to come up with the mushy stuff, or the hot stuff, whether you feel it or not. And that's hard, excuse the pun. So what tricks can you use to generate a bit of romance when you really, really cannot be... Continue Reading →

K – Klingons on the starboard bow: my most successful fanfic ever and what to include in a hit story

I never expected to write a Star Trek fanfic. I always liked the TV show as a kid, but was in the 'OK but no great fan' level of interest. I like SF, but I couldn't name any specific episode - or most of the characters. And then they recast Star Trek for a new... Continue Reading →

G – Goals and how dreary they can be – and how to fix that

Goals. We are all supposed to have them. We are supposed to be driven by them, inspired by them to peak productivity and massive achievement. But oh boy, working purely to goals can be dull. Goals are like work. Proper work, where you are meant to show up on time and make progress and meet... Continue Reading →

F – Forging new ideas

Whenever you write, you are generating fresh ideas - or you should be. But how can you come up with new ideas consistently? Everyone agrees, the Muse is dead or never existed, and we all need to earn a living. Nobody these days lives in an Italian garret, supported by private income until the inspiration... Continue Reading →

E – Experience and how to get it

I always admired Harry Harrison - for his pulp SF, which I loved as a teenager - and his author bio. His bio revealed that before he became a writer,  he had a ton of non-writing jobs. 'Truck driver' was one. I knew what this meant. Harrison had experience. He didn't go to writing school and... Continue Reading →

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