Pondering: futility of godless stories

Ponder with me the shallowness of stories that omit any divine purpose. Any intervention or God-given purpose. As writers creating fictional realms we have the opportunity to omit God… or do we? A story I moderately enjoy centers around a Buddhist monk who is on a quest to find the equivalent of the chosen one. The […]

futility of godless stories

When books were shorter and excellent

A few years back I approached my publisher with a proposed new fantasy series that would tie in with the previous one I wrote for them. They turned it down. Not because it wasn’t the type of story that they liked but because the manuscript did not exceed their minimum word-count requirement. That book was Neverqueen and I […]

short excellent books

Materialism: the writer’s enemy

Recently I took my wife and kids to the mall. It is only about twenty-five minutes from our house but I had never been. In fact, it had been a long while since I had been in any mall. Firstly, I am not a big shopper and second, I find malls are filled with clothing […]

materialism writers enemy

The New Fantasy Beast

Innovative fantasy creatures are born from strange ideas. In my writing experience it is easy to invent creatures. But it is not enough to create new creatures, they must be memorable in their uniqueness. They must be believable in their physical and behavioral traits. …Such a creature is the Cat Beast. Some of the creatures I […]

remarkable fantasy beasts

Unspoken laws of fantasy fiction

While fiction is itself an exploration of human imagination (and some might add an exploration of ingenuity as well) it must remain bound by laws if it is to impact the reader’s thinking in a positive way. The writer’s philosophies, persuasions, convictions, all of these things create the laws that bind their fiction. And this […]

unspoken laws fiction fantasy

The importance of message in story

While it is important that a fiction piece not “preach” a message to its readers, it is of even greater importance that the story does communicate a message. A lot of stories written today seem to focus on action and romance, or something similar. But the real power in storytelling is to reinforce cultural values, […]

importance of message in story

Backstage pass! Specter: the story continues

Often when writing a fantasy story the original drafts do not contain all of the key elements that flesh out a good tale. But in future drafts as the story evolves, especially if you are a seat-of-the-pants writer, new elements and even new characters come into play. When writing my first novel Swords of the […]

continuing Specter fantasy

How nameless characters enhance story

Nameless characters. They may seem useless to the writer and to the reader but in many respects they are key to enhancing a great fiction story. Consider how many nameless characters populate the books you read and the movies you watch. Nameless characters play well into plot development and world building. When I am writing […]

enhance story with nameless fiction characters

How you can fail as a writer

It’s a straightforward dilemma. If you dream of writing the kind of stories you love then one day you hope to share those stories with the world. You will focus on the things that matter, like good grammar and stronger sentence structure. You will face the demons of self-doubt, and you believe you will emerge […]

how to fail as writer