Tag Archives: Research

I queued for nearly two hours in the rain to get a book signed by Neil Gaiman


Signed booksThree weeks ago I met my favourite writer, Neil Gaiman at the Cheltenham Literary Festival. (It’s taken this long to write it because I’ve been struck dumb by the excitement of the experience!….Or I’ve been struck down by a series of viruses.)

When I say ‘met’ I mean to say that I attended a talk and book signing, but, it’s probably the closest I’ll ever get to actually meeting him!

I don’t really think of myself as much of a ‘fan’ of anyone really, I don’t feel like I can justify the term. I’ve rarely read everything, listened to everything, followed obsessively and I’m almost always late to the ‘party’.

On the other hand, I queued for nearly two hours, half of that in the rain for the chance to get my books signed by Mr Gaiman. So I guess I can claim at least some fan-tastic tendencies…

My first encounter with Gaiman (though I didn’t know it then) was through the TV mini-series ‘Neverwhere’. I went on to read some of the early Sandman graphic novels. Later I read the novel adaptation of Neverwhere, and finally I put the pieces together. Read the rest of this entry


World Consistency – Magic


On a long drive recently I listened to the audio book of A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. It’s good so far, but it got me thinking about world consistency and certain choices that need to be made before beginning to write.

My reading preference is Fantasy/Sci-Fi or Horror fiction, and it’s what I tend towards in my writing.  The scope and freedom afforded a writer by a fantasy world come with the burden of creating a believable and consistent environment in which to set the story.

I have a great book called “How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy” by Orson Scott Card. He devotes around 21 pages to “Make rules for your world” in his chapter on World Creation. He perhaps goes a little over the top on his advice about space travel or language, but the point is valid and the information useful, and shockingly neither of the two other ‘Creative Writing’ books I pulled off my shelf talked about this at all.

I think I’ll write a few entries on this subject, as otherwise it’s going to be a long read and will probably never make it online! I do, however, think it will be useful for me to get my head around some of these issues and of course, feedback is always welcome!

So I’m going to start with “Magic

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Information Overload?


I was reading an article on Twitter in the February issue of Writing Magazine (awful website btw) earlier today. The article was espousing the value of Twitter as a marketing tool for writers. Every writer who’s anyone has a Twitter account and shares their skills with the world in 140 character soundbites… apparently. Actually, I could write a whole entry about Twitter, but I’ll hold that thought, as I have other plans for today.

I dutifully went and investigated finding a whole host of writing related tweeters posting furiously. I added around eleven to follow and read a few tweets noting they almost all contained links. Most directing me to what seem to be really useful and informative sites. Great, this is just what I need, more info, more advice, more inspiration!

Thirty minutes later I’m late for starting dinner and I’d not even begun reading any of the content properly. Wow, I thought, this is going to be hard work. Looking into something that I’d like to do as a part-time source of income is turning into a full-time job! I already have trouble finding time to write a daily blog entry…as you may have noted. I am also trying to get to the end of Apartment 16, whilst keeping up with the daily news and digging deeper into some of the more pertinent issues. Then there’s my editing course and this months issue of the aforementioned Writing Magazine and now I have eleven tweeters to follow, all linking to multiple web sites a day…

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