Secondary World Problems

You know, those things which are only an issue if you happen to be the denizen of a world created in the imagination of a jobbing fantasy author. Or an ageing English academic. Or a frustrated fan trying to turn pro author. A secondary world always tells you more about the inside of the authorsContinue reading “Secondary World Problems”

Writing Mind, Big Mind, Judging Mind

My friend Amy Sundberg talks about the Writing Mind, in response to Jeff VanderMeer’s missive that forcing your concentration to meet a fixed daily word count isn’t a universally good idea. Even when you aren’t writing, you can still be writing. The imagination is always busy, and sometimes it does its best work when weContinue reading “Writing Mind, Big Mind, Judging Mind”

Micro Sci-Fi 2 : My eyes are dim, I can not see

A Google HUD journalist  auctions the eternal copyright to her feed for a Quora credit fortune but is replaced by a narrative AI generated from her lifetime experience. Rules of Micro SF: Tell a story in one sentence. It can be any length but must work grammatically and be reasonably well parsed by a reader. Include at least twoContinue reading “Micro Sci-Fi 2 : My eyes are dim, I can not see”

We need a unified spec-fic award in the UK

The United Kingdom has one credible award for speculative fiction. It’s called the Clarke Award, and it is decided by a panel of experts each year. In addition we have a splintered field of popular voted awards including those organised by the British Fantasy Society and British Science Fiction Association. These awards carry little weightContinue reading “We need a unified spec-fic award in the UK”

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”

Emotions when writing

Don’t underestimate or ignore the emotional and psychological challenge of writing. More writers are defeated in this arena than by lack of skill or imagination. Writing can be joyous and fun. But it can also be strenuous, isolating and, sometimes, downright scary. Every piece of writing is a journey. Some longer or shorter than others.Continue reading “Emotions when writing”

Picking up the threads

As a writer, you have to trust that your work will get better each time you come back to it. Very few writing projects are started and finished in one sitting. Even a short story requires planning, writing, re-writing, editing. Novels can take months and years to go from flash of inspiration to final manuscript.Continue reading “Picking up the threads”