Worldbuilding: card characters for novelists

Ever been stuck sorting out characters for your story? Especially secondary characters that you can’t put too much time into but which still need that realistic edge. Today I thought I’d share an ideas trick that might work for you. A card game. That’s right. A card game. Alice in Wonderland style, slightly. Here’s how. Make a … More Worldbuilding: card characters for novelists

Worldbuilding: fantasy writing and languages – part 1

Having a credible language as part of a credible world has been part of the fantasy genre for nigh on a century. Until around 1955, authors could get away with a few words they’d bashed out or adapted that sounded kind of consistent. Barsoom, for instance. Often coined for map-making purposes. Enter J R R … More Worldbuilding: fantasy writing and languages – part 1

Worldbuilding: past or present? Tense tips for writers

Style is the first thing a reader notices when flicking through a book, and it’s also a very powerful arbiter of expression – and a key way that writers build the world they’re presenting. One of the biggest decisions is whether to write in present tense, or past? It’s not an idle question. The selected … More Worldbuilding: past or present? Tense tips for writers

Worldbuilding: why techno-thrillers are so good at detail

I discover that Tom Clancy has a new book out, Locked On, co-written with Mark Greaney. Will I buy it? Not sure yet. This guy defined the so-called ‘techno thriller’ – action novels filled with cardboard cliche heroes and reverently evangelised military hardware performing by the numbers, all backgrounded by a breathless nationalism. Usually American. A … More Worldbuilding: why techno-thrillers are so good at detail