Writing is hard, lonely, low paid work

I think we need to spread the following meme as far and wide as possible: “Writing is hard, lonely, low paid work.” It’s a stark message, and perhaps lacking some nuance. But it needs to be to impact the growing legions attracted to writing as a pathway to celebrity, status and wealth. Those people needContinue reading “Writing is hard, lonely, low paid work”

The Magicians is Harry Potter for grown-ups

If you could journey to any fantasy world, which would it be? I, like many millions of others, would have to choose JRR Tolkien’s Middle Earth – although, given the option, I’d divide my time between Gondor and Rivendell, and skip the guided tours of Moria and Mordor. Lev Grossman, author of The Magicians andContinue reading “The Magicians is Harry Potter for grown-ups”

Yep. That needs another draft.

It’s a great feeling to finish a piece of writing. Triumphant. So looking at work you thought was finished and realising it isn’t finished at all is painnnnnnful. The mind goes in to self-defence mode. Or self destruct mode. Obviously you suck. What ever made you think you could write at all. Give it up.Continue reading “Yep. That needs another draft.”

The spy who came in from the multiverse

Will Ellwood is a member of The Speculators writing group, which is now accelerating towards its two year anniversary. This week Will has had his first professional publication in issue 12 of Flurb, edited by Rudy Rucker. It’s a hell of a way to start a writing career, being published alongside cyberpunk legends Bruce Sterling,Continue reading “The spy who came in from the multiverse”

Science Fiction is the most valuable art ever. Discuss.

So. Today at the Out of this World event at the British Library (which was really rather wonderful), Neil Gaiman shared a fascinating factoid with the audience. While appearing as a Guest of Honour at China’s largest state approved Science Fiction convention, Neil decided to enquire why SF, once frowned upon by the Chinese government,Continue reading “Science Fiction is the most valuable art ever. Discuss.”

Why a book is not a film

There’s a nice idea in the Ricky Gervais movie The Invention of Lying, where in a world without lies, films are now factual scripts read by their authors directly to a camera. Without lies you can’t have fiction. Or actors. In fact you can’t have films as we know them. Films are treated like books.Continue reading “Why a book is not a film”