How to write a circus fantasy – character, setting, magic

Why are circuses and fairs so fascinating? Why do people run away with the circus? And why do we love a circus fantasy story so much? I think it is because in olden times, the circus was almost the only travelling organisation you might hitch a ride with. There were others - army recruiters, roaming... Continue Reading →

Fantasy World Clash Title Generator

I've been reading and watching The City and the City by China Mieville this week. Two cultures in permanent conflict, sharing the same space, each city diligently 'unseeing' the other. It made me want to create a culture clash of my own. So after my romantic fantasy title generator proved popular, I have created a... Continue Reading →

Slinging spells and flinging cards

I read Spellslinger this week in about three gulps and have been inspired by its greatness - to learn about cards, and to hurt my own characters, a lot. Honestly Sebastien de Castell heaps bad luck and trouble on his main character, Kellen, to such a degree that you fear it might be one of those YA... Continue Reading →

Flintlock fantasy fun

This week I read The Thousand Names by Django Wexler. I picked it up as part of an armful of fantasy novels I collected from the library. It’s part of my 2018 campaign to read new authors and find fantasy that is my kind of thing. This includes a large element of show us your... Continue Reading →

Defining the ideal fantasy book

As a reader, I know what I want. And I very rarely find it. Toni Morrison said Write the book you want to read but sometimes I struggle to define what I want. James Scott Bell talks about essential scenes in every genre, but fantasy is the one he doesn't give examples for.* And let's face it... Continue Reading →

Prologues and how to avoid them – 9 ways to start at the beginning

What is it about fantasy fiction that tempts authors into creating prologues? I've come to the conclusion that it's because fantasy storylines so often depend on events long previous to the main action of the story. But readers (according to popular belief) skip prologues. They want to get to the action.  Therefore most writing advice says to avoid prologues. But how... Continue Reading →

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