Stuff I find helpful

The problem with ‘writing advice’ is that it’s like trying to advise someone on how to be funny in social situations. If you know funny people, when you compare them they’re funny in different ways. The methods that they use to arrive at their humour are different, and their jokes are different. When it comes to writing, if you try to think up even the most basic rule – “Write things!” then at times, even that falls down. So I can’t really give great writing advice, nor do I have any idea what it would be. What I can tell you are some things that have helped me to progress in the craft.

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Finding an agent: keeping your chin up

You’ve finished your manuscript.
You’ve edited, re-edited, edited until you know every line by heart.
It’s fine, it’s ready.
You send it out.
And then comes the first rejection slip.

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Born to nerd: The ongoing impact of anti Fantasy/Sci-fi snobbery

Even though I make my living writing the thing that I love the most, I still feel embarrassed when I tell a new acquaintance about what I do, even though I love my job, and they live for the brief respite at the weekend. This blog talks about how negative cultural associations continue to affect the way I feel about my life.

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Love in the time of Chimeras

The more that I’ve become part of SFF online communities recently, the more I’ve been surprised by what sometimes feels like a general aversion to, or even active dislike of, romance in fantasy novels.

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Dear Debut Authors of 2018

You’ve written a book. An agent loved it. Publishers loved it. You got an advance. You can live on it! Your book comes out to rave reviews. You’re interviewed in SFX and Sci-fi Now. You have a blog tour. You tour book shops. You go to conventions. You meet all your heroes. You go to GRRM’s party. You meet people in publishing, and they’re the best people you’ve ever met. You meet authors, and finally you can talk to someone who knows what it’s like.

Oh, and did I mention how dreadful things might just feel?

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BLACKWING Cover – Spain

Just a quick post to put up the Spanish cover from publisher Minotauro. I love the stark contrasts and that it gives a really modern feel rather. Brilliant stuff.

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Blackwing: LITFIC edition

Everyone knows that literary fiction is the best form of fiction and that popular books are written by mere hacks spouting garbage for the unwashed, illiterate masses who can barely understand a story, let alone a sentence that has taken 12 hours of deliberation. As such I am rewriting the whole of Blackwing into a more literary style. Here’s a taster.

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Nenn and Galharrow go Speed-Courting

Well, this might be the stupidest thing that I’ve ever written but what the hell. A Valentine’s Day inspired short about Nenn and Galharrow going speed-courting. Like the Christmas special, this is probably not canon…

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Editing your work: word redundancy

Having just finished the line edit for RAVENCRY, I’ve noticed that it has changed the way that I’m writing the draft of the next book in the Raven’s Mark series. Editing can sometimes feel like an isolated process, so I decided that I’d share the way that I’m approaching writing now.

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