Writing and the attention economy

As a writer you are asking for the most valuable commodity your readers have. Time. Each of us gets a finite portion. No sum of money can buy us any more. And the demands on it are ever greater. The novel evolved at a period in history when the constituency of its readers had muchContinue reading “Writing and the attention economy”

How to work with theory without snuffing out your creative spark

I spent much of the last weekend live-tweeting from Weird Council, an academic convention on the writing of China Mieville. Many clever people were in attendance, many clever things were said. I only understood about half of them but felt quite good about getting that much. As a good friend of mine says, if moreContinue reading “How to work with theory without snuffing out your creative spark”

The answer to a riddle

Last year I wrote a short story called A Vast Bit of Hod, which I published to my blog here. As I mentioned at the time, the story is also a riddle. I have congratulated half a dozen people who emailed me the answer. This evening James Everington tweeted me to ask: btw, when are youContinue reading “The answer to a riddle”

Good curation is much more valuable than cash

A good friend has just sold a debut story to an excellent but non-paying market. There are a lot of markets for short fiction. Many of them are bad. Some of them pay. Some of the ones that pay the most are the worst. In the world of short fiction money is a very badContinue reading “Good curation is much more valuable than cash”

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”

Rings Extract

UPDATE: This extract from My Love Sick Zombie Boy Band was posted when the story was still being drafted under its working title of Rings. But this secene remained through to the final draft (largely) intact. *** Rings grew out of lots of thinking I’ve been doing about magic in urban settings, and the specificContinue reading “Rings Extract”