Seal of Approval

Sigh. The Hundredth Master of Ninja Assassin is malingering. You know that moment when a living malleable story turns into a dull lump of hard, dried up clay in your hands? Yup, thats where I am.

One of the joys of writing is observing your own development. If Clarion was about cracking my writing open, the almost year and half since has been about reconstructing the pieces to be better, faster, stronger. In the last few years I’ve tried my hand at every style of writing I could think of, and along the way I’ve stumbled into some ideas that would make good novels. But my writing seems to be finding its centre down in the dark depths of the human subconscious – I seem to be most comfortable and confident dealing with the internal state of my characters, and less and less interested in the external conflicts surrounding them. It’s an interesting transition to observe.

A couple of things I’ve been liking today:

The Guardian continue the neverending debate on the new paradigm of digital publishing. The term ‘seal of approval’ is thrown up to describe the power of a publisher to define what writing is valued and what is discarded. I like the term, it seems somehow central to the future direction of publishing. The major publishers are still clinging to the ‘seal of approval’, just, but it is quickly slipping from their fingers.

I’ve just discovered the new Realms of Fantasy website. Realm’s was the first short fiction magazine I ever read (discovered in a Martins newsagent ion Reading train station when I was 15, back when newsagents sold really good things like RoF and Eagle!)


Published by Damien Walter

Writer and storyteller. Contributor to The Guardian, Independent, BBC, Wired, Buzzfeed and Aeon magazine. Special forces librarian (retired). Teaches the Rhetoric of Story to over 35,000 students worldwide.


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