In my mis-spent early twenties, a friend and I created a fantasy world map for our RPG sessions. Yes, I played Dungeons and Dragons – and later a game we invented ourselves to get around the sillier D&D ideas. The world was designed around what we might call the ‘rule of funny’, with place names made up mostly of … More Three rules for naming your fantasy world
It’s almost a cliche these days to say that modern fantasy writers all stand in J R R Tolkien’s shadow. Or George R R Martin’s. But it’s true. Obviously, having two middle names beginning with R is a pre-requisite for greatness in the genre. And it was Tolkien who really defined the field for so many author … More Essential writing skills: it’s OK to write square mountain ranges
Most writers, I realised the other day, hang out with writing groups. Or at least other writers. J R R Tolkien, for instance, was part of a group called the ‘Inklings’, who met in a local Oxford pub – the Eagle and Child, known locally as the ‘Bird and Baby’. Every Tuesday from 1939 until 1962 … More Do you have a writing group…like Tolkien?
Last week a British meteorologist at the University of Bristol published a weather analysis of Middle Earth. Tres cool. Here’s a link to the paper: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/news/2013/10013-english.pdf According to the report, the weather in The Shire was much the same as that of Lincolnshire – which is pretty much what Tolkien was envisaging. It’s also like Belarus, … More Guess which real-world place is most like Mordor…
I’ve mentioned before that the art of writing focuses on what to avoid – not what to add. Take food, for which we need go no further than J R R Tolkien. This week, the Roxy– a wonderful art deco cinema, literally just down the road from Peter Jackson’s studios in Miramar, Wellington – got … More Write it now, part 30: Middle Earth on a plate?
The pressure’s on these days for writers to produce. Content is getting ever more transient – even print books, which occasionally gained a ‘long tail’ of years, now tend to dwindle after just a year or so. And the advent of e-publishing has produced a colossal market. The reality of this brave new future boils … More Write It Now, Part 23: Speed + quality = can be done
I figure a logline is one of the best friends a writer can have. A good one will help sell your manuscript to an agent or publisher. What’s more, loglines are also brilliant writing tools. A logline is a one-sentence description of a book. Its purpose is to tell the agent or publisher why the public … More Write It Now Part 18: Logline, the writer’s best friend