As a less experienced writer I used to obsess over plot. Plot was everything. This seems to be the case for a lot of people who aren’t writers, too — a common criticism of a film or book will be that “the plot isn’t very good”, or “the plot’s a bit basic”. When I used to write as a kid, my entire focus would be on trying to formulate a twisty-turny, intricate plot.(more…)
I’m obsessed with finding the right tool for the job: my main source of stress is witnessing other people determinedly using inappropriate tools or processes, usually because they (incorrectly) think they don’t have time to fix it. When it comes to writing, my go-to tool for years has been Scrivener. Read more…
Stories need rules as much as they need imagination; as counter-intuitive as it seems, placing restrictions on what can happen in your fictional world will help readers to understand the dramatic tensions, threats and challenges encountered by your characters. This is true regardless of the genre you’re playing in. (more…)
I was asked to give a talk comparing storytelling in games and literature by Access Creative College. This article is based on that talk.
It’s easy to think that interactivity is the key difference between games and literature. Video games are interactive, which makes them unique. It’s an easy statement but misses the point that all forms of storytelling are interactive.
Titles are massively important and often irritatingly elusive. If you publish in a serialised, weekly format like me you need to figure out titles right up front, before you’ve written the whole story. You get more breathing space if you’re publishing traditionally, or self-publishing a completed, edited ebook, but at some point you still need to commit. (more…)