Fantasy 101: Just Swords and Sorcery

Fantasy 101: Just Swords and Sorcery

It’s quite a long journey from George MacDonald’s The Princess and the Goblin novel to George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire; about 140 years of Fantasy literature in between spanning across enough sub-genres that R.R. Martin couldn’t behead fast enough. When we consider fantasy, we generally think of fantastical lands, magic, dragons, princesses, wizards, swordsmen, goblins, orcs, hobbits and the like. But the genre is so much more than that. There’s dark mythological horrors (have you read Dark Things), there’s juvenile fantasy (Harry Potter, Narnia), there’s diesel punk (steampunk… kind of… it’s a long story), high fantasy (Lord of Read more »

Trade Mistakes

Trade Mistakes

Trade mistakes is a topic I do not feel entirely qualified to write about. Nonetheless whatever insight I have managed to procure over my years of writing may prove useful to you. I’ve made plenty of mistakes, some of which I only discovered in the last month. I’m always learning something new and I hope I will help you along too. I always think of mistakes as a personal trainer at the gym, employed to cut the bad habits and whip you up to shape with better habits. And this is what my PT told me to cut out of Read more »

Friends of the Trade

Friends of the Trade

If there is one thing I have found and now appreciate about writing, it is my fellow writers. I am part of multiple writing groups that inspire and encourage me to continue this arduous exciting adventure that is writing. Without them I would not be at the same level I am now, perhaps would have taken longer to get here without them. Opportunity “It’s not what you know but who you know.” How often does this quote come up in the world? “I had no idea what a literary agent was. I had no intention of working in publishing and I Read more »

Mind of the Trade

Mind of the Trade

Monday morning I’m stuck deep within the confines of On Writing Well by William Zinsser, finding my thought process winding into non-fiction gear as I prepare for work. My mind suffers from professional-author-talk syndrome and my writing follows suit. Therefore’s and however’s creep into my speech. Professionalism at its finest. Monday afternoon I’m reading Moxyland by Lauren Beukes, an African dystopian novel chockful of colloquialism and slang, written as the language is spoken, with a myriad of colourful characters each unique in their speech. I’ve switched to calling people “babes” or “chief”, embracing the local lingo like I’m still traversing Read more »

Driven by the Trade

Driven by the Trade

The question has plagued many an artist over the course of history, right there next to the question “Why am I here?”, is the second most important question; why do I do what I do. Am I driven by the joy of exercising my craft or do the corporeal benefits steer me on. As a writer I have been on both sides of the fence and now sit straddling the equivocal fence, unsure which way to fall this time. There is pleasure in writing. This particular article has been a joy to write, an old experience seen anew outside of Read more »