I love stories.
My name is Damien Walter, and what I just said is an understatement. I am fascinated by stories. I tell stories. I hear, watch and read stories. I study stories. And I share what I have learned.
I’m on a journey to tell a great story. Follow my blog or as a patron to join that journey with with me. I’ll share the stories I’m working on, from hand written drafts to complete texts. I’ll show you inside the strange industry of story making as I chart my own course through it. And I’ll talk about the great ups, and sometimes fierce downs, of the creative process.
“Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.” ~Goethe.
Join as a patron and get:
- Weirder Tales: my collection of very short, very weird tales.
- free access to the Rhetoric of Story course.
- free access to my blog series on Creative Imagination.
- tiered access to all my stories, essays & courses as they are published, including digital limited editions.
I was one of those kids who dreamed stories, but somewhere along the path I got stuck as an adult. How the hell does that happen? Trying to find an answer to that, in my 20s I wrote a set of true life stories, about growing up on a sink housing estate, losing my mum when I was 18, and trying to make it through life from the ground floor up.
Fantasy, sci-fi and generally weird things have always been my passion. For a few years I focussed on short, weird tales, about lost gods, second lives, broken dreams, and teenage witchcraft. I collected nine of these in a little ebook, free for patrons.
I had the wonderful experience of joining the 2008 Clarion writers workshop, taught by Neil Gaiman, Geoff Ryman, and the super-talented Kelly Link, who advised that the really big challenge for writers is making the leap from good, to great. That’s where I am now, leaping over the chasm.
“First you jump off the cliff, then you build your wings.”
Are you ever amazed by how a few words on a page, strokes on paper, or pixels on a screen, can create the most intense unreal worlds? I started writing about stories, fantasy & sci-fi on my own blog over a decade ago, and was surprised when people showed up and started arguing with me!
I’ve been a regular contributor at The Guardian, and have bylines for The Independent, WIRED, IO9, Tor.com, SFX, BBC, Buzzfeed…and probably some others I’ve forgotten…writing about sci-fi, geek culture, tech, futurism and politics. My occaisionally controversial opinions have been known to offend, so if you’re among the offended…hello :)
Soon, quite soon, I’ll be pulling together a collection of my writings on the Escape Art, and a new terminal essay on scifi as our modern mythology. Just as soon as I reach the funding goal…
In 2013 I gave away almost everything I owned, packed some changes of clothes into a carry-on backpack, and since then have been living around Thailand, India, Malaysia and Bali. I wrote about my life on the road, and the digital nomad community, in the feature essay Slouching Toward Nimmanhaemin.
I’m an accidental Buddhist, and often share thoughts and ideas I’ve learned from the “middle way”, or more widely from spiritual traditions, psychology and philosophy. Buddhist study has taught me a lot about how our minds think and understand the world through stories.
Along my travels I’ve learned a huge amount from Asian and Indian storytelling; from Balinese puppet theatre, to unearthing a lost Indian epic.
For almost ten years I ran community projects and writing workshops in the city of Leicester. I learned a lot about writing as practice, the value of creativity for all people, and how shaping our personal narratives helps us to grow and heal.
I’m a qualified university lecturer and member of the Higher Education Academy. For 3 years I lead the Certificate in Creative Writing at the University of Leicester, and taughter Digital Writing at Nottingham University. Somehow I’ve had research published by Oxford University Press AND Cambridge University Press.
I poured all of my experience as a teacher, and learning about story, into the Rhetoric of Story, an online course developing a new understanding of story craft. My next planned course is on Creative Imagination, coming late in 2017.