I’ve already published a few pieces dealing with the mechanics of writing, combinations of things I’ve personally learnt and advice purloined from elsewhere that is just too good not to share.
In line with these existing posts, I’m starting a fortnightly, maybe weekly if inspiration strikes, series of posts related to the craft of writing. These will all be original content posts, (no re-posts or short ‘picture and inspirational quote’ meme posts) and will all be linked by the Under the Hood category that you can peruse by the menus on the right side of this page. Looking under the novel’s hood as it were.
My goal is to help aspiring authors, struggling writers, and frustrated self-publishers. Along the way, I’m hoping to cement my own craft and maybe expand my reach. I only ask that if you find something worthwhile that you share it amongst your own networks.
For the starting writer, there are just so many things you should know. Preparation, proper grammar, research, writing, genre rules, editing, design and eventually publishing are all scary steps towards either authorship or alcoholism. Sadly before you start you can’t actually know which things you need to know. This catch 22 means you really have 4 options…
- Don’t start. That way quitting lies.
- Don’t start until you’ve finished. That way madness lies
- Start anyway and just remember that life = pain
- Make use of the pain, sweat, tears and caffeine poisoning that others have endured before you.
Now before you get started, repeat after me…
ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn
This is an excellent concept, and should be enforced by PHS (Publishing House Stormtroopers). You will comply in all instances where the location of the characters is in any way important. I’m already tracking counter-intuitive fantasy names, so if I need to have some idea where each unpronounceable city/mountain/ruin is, your story is becoming more of a chore than an escape.
… also, I love to see characters spend ages trudging between nearby cities and then apparently teleporting between distant locations… it’s magic… or maybe just the need for a good continuity edit.
If a primary task of fiction is to explore the human experience—who we are and what we mean to each other—then the fantastic and unreal must surely be key elements in that exploration. But plenty of people still claim that fantasy and other genres are less “real” than purely mimetic fiction. And Kazuo Ishiguro has the best answer to those people.