I’ve been experimenting with a useful technique for quickly creating characters, borrowing a few tricks from roleplaying games. I started using this approach with The Mechanical Crown, as the book is crammed full of characters and I needed a way to immediately define their behaviour, speech pattern and attitudes. (more…)
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…)
f you’re looking for advice on how to be an indie author, podcasts are an incredible resource. If you’re not already a podcast addict then you’re seriously missing out, so make sure you head over to iTunes, PocketCast or whatever your preferred podcast app happens to be and check out these suggestions. (more…)
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…)
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.
I’m a big believer in Simon Sinek’s Start With Why notion. It posits that before you get to the how and the what, you really need to figure out the why. This applies to any endeavour, be it personal or professional and as an individual or a group. It’s what separates companies and organisations with Read more…
Last weekend I was part of the Publishing Day School at Writers’ Centre Norwich, speaking about online serialisation alongside an excitingly broad mix of traditional, digital and self publishers. Here’s a webinar version of the talk:
About eight years ago I went to Eastercon, my first science fiction convention. It was a great weekend full of fascinating panels, including the likes of Neil Gaiman, Cory Doctorow and China Mieville. As engrossing as the discussions were, there was a narcissistic room in the back of my brain which wanted to be up on the panel, rather than sitting in the audience.
Being part of the Publishing Day School, sitting on a panel alongside other writers, I achieved that goal. It was another critical step along the road of becoming a writer.
In a gaming era defined by the need to be on-going and forever, whether that be through multiplayer, procedural generation, MMO persistence, an endless parade of hats or drip-feed DLC, it’s a relief to be given an out. The Witcher 3‘s second major expansion Blood & Wine is the developers saying “it’s ok. Go now. Our time here is over.”
Spoilers ensue. (more…)