October 2014

What I want in a Villain & The Curse of the Bad Chapter

  This is two blog posts for the price of one as I have been dwelling on both of these things. The first is finding the villain that I find perfect for the novel. Yes sure, I’ve already named and described him in the first draft. But I really need to tease him out more. So I have been watching films and documentaries of actors who are known for characterisations

Writing my own gestalt-sentient beings

In the mid-1990s I read a book with an idea that captured my imagination. In Verner Vinge’s “A Fire Upon the Deep” I read of a canine gestalt-sentient species called the Tine. A gestalt-sentient species, as portrayed in that novel, was one that had a sort of group mind or group consciousness. So an “individual” might be made up of five or six beings who shared a consciousness. What really

Quantum entanglement & Sympathetic magic

Well, as any of my dear friends out there know, I am trying to create a world in which magic is merely science that is forgotten. I know, not a new idea. But I am trying to express it in a way that is true to most reader’s expectations of fantasy while providing a rationale that satisfies my own need for logic and consistency. Anyway, I’ll write more about that

First step in seeing people

I love the way that some authors can catch the essence of a person in a few sentences.  But how can I do that as a writer? I set myself the task of really trying to observe the people around me. By that I mean not just seeing what I expect to see, but really deconstructing their behaviour into a suite of movements and expressions and so on. But this

Two's company. Three is more interesting.

The other day I found myself wondering why a certain scene of mine was so dull. It had conflict. It had heightened emotions. Yet it was still dull. Essentially the scene was an argument between two characters regarding a course of action. The principal risks were to do nothing and definitely kill 300 people or do something and let an unknown (possibly extremely dangerous) entity loose upon their world. Both

Swearing, obscenities and so on in my fantasy and science fiction

Is it just me, or does everyone think that the use of the word ‘frak’ in science fiction and fantasy is just plain lame? I know that it annoyed the crap out of me in Battlestar Galactica. I figure that if you mean ‘fuck’ then just say it. Having said that, why use it at all? To be honest, I rarely use the so-called F-word in real life. My swearing vocabulary consists of ‘bloody’