Writing

Why magic needs to have rules

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…)

By Simon Jones, ago
Writing

Finding a title for your novel

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…)

By Simon Jones, ago
Productivity

Serialised storytelling is perfect for busy writers

This is the story of how serialised writing has helped me write two books, one of which won an award and has been read by over 27,000 people, while having a busy day job and not annoying my family. When I grew up, I was going to be a writer. As a kid, I was always writing short stories, poems, screenplays and anything else that came to mind. Then I got distracted, went to university, studied film and English and stumbled down a visual effects rabbit hole for 14 years. I got married, had a kid. These were all great things in their own ways, but I never quite found time to realise that childhood writing dream. (more…)

By Simon Jones, ago
Writing

It’s OK if you don’t write every day

If you want to be a writer you need to write every day. That's the advice you'll hear again and again from authors in all genres and at all stages of their careers. While I'm not about to disagree with far more experienced and successful writers than myself, I do want to address what it means if you simply can't do it. (more…)

By Simon Jones, ago
Movies

How Blade Runner 2049’s world building has its roots in 1982

Most of my discussions about Blade Runner 2049 have been about its gender politics and depiction of women. Specifically, whether it's deliberately troubling or just troubling. Or a bit of both. That's not what I want to write about here, primarily because I haven't yet made up my mind. Instead, I'm going to take a look at the storytelling techniques the film uses to establish its future setting. Spoilers will ensue. (more…)

By Simon Jones, ago