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Showing posts from September, 2015

A Foundation of Question Marks

This week I'm joined on the blog by Bryan Wigmore, not just one of the best fantasy writers I know, but also one of the most astute readers. Here, he talks about what the world in a story means to him. He also quotes Chief Wiggum. What's not to like?

‘We gods are only masks,’ Mictlantehcutli says. ‘Who wears us? Find it out!’ Grant Morrison, The Invisibles
‘What is your fascination with my forbidden closet of mystery?’ Chief Wiggum, The Simpsons
I’m going to write about mystery. Not the kind of mystery of who shot who (at the Copacabana or elsewhere) but the deeper mysteries that for me are an important part of an interesting story-world. A story depends on its characters, but its characters in turn depend on their world, are formed by it. A world that differs fundamentally from ours can be interesting in itself, an intellectual curiosity, but it comes to life when it gives birth to characters who do or think the unexpected because their world has given them a culture and minds…



The first of two blogs looking at the role of world building in genre fiction. Next week, Bryan Wigmore, writer of awesome fantasy (really, really awesome fantasy) turns up with his take on the same. For this week, I’m going to talk about why, for me, the world isn’t what defines a book.

Now, before you all come over all hissy and astonished at my audacity, I’ll just say that I like a good world as much as the next person. Genre is all about new worlds. It’s safe to say if it didn’t appeal to me – a lot, as it happens – I’d go off and read (and write) real-world books.
I’ve read lots of world-based sci-fi and fantasy. I weaned my sff teeth on Heinlein, and Narnia via the Faraway Tree. As a teen, I moved onto the great worlds of Dune and Tolkien – with Dune stealing the show (I always was a sucker for space ships.) I drank in Star Wars and Blake’s Seven, hid behind the sofa at Doctor Who and graduated through many of the big sff worlds – ASOFIA, Rothfuss, …

777 writer's game

I was tagged by the awesome Thaddeus White, author of fabulous epic fantasy and the bone-achingly funny Sir Edric series.

I had to take a work in progress, go to a page ending in 7 and show 7 lines, and then I have to tag 7 others to do so. Being me, I had a few wips in choose from, but I've went for Sunset Over Abendau, which is due out in March 2015:

“It’s rude to look at my thoughts.” It was a stupid thing to say, when he should really why he was Kalyn and why she had his eyes, but was too frightened of her answer.
“As you say.” She shifted and winced. 
“Can I do anything to help?” he asked, but she shook her head. He waited another moment, steeling himself. “You have my eyes.”
“No,” she said, and it sounded like she was amused. “You have mine - I was here first, Kalyn.”

So, intrigue... And I tag Anna Dickinson, Cathleen Townsend, Stephen Palmer, Shellie (millymollymo), Bryan Wigmore, Kerry Buchanan and DG Jones - if anyone doesn't have a blog and needs somewhere to post it, ema…