Facing fears (or the dead thing under the fridge)

I've been thinking a lot lately about what it means to "face one's fears". Without me really stopping to think about it, I guess the phrase has always had literal meaning for me. But what is fear, exactly? Wikipedia says fear is (in part) "an emotion induced by a perceived threat which causes entities to … Continue reading Facing fears (or the dead thing under the fridge)

With beads and braids in her hair

Last week my niece, who's nearly 10, showed up with coloured plastic beads threaded in her short dark hair. She'd strung the beads onto three strands of hair near her brow, and they clicked and jingled and looked really cute and funky. She offered to thread some into my hair and I will confess it … Continue reading With beads and braids in her hair

“It’s just a story”

Yesterday I was happily discussing with a friend the awesome book I'd just finished -- and which she'd read previously -- when I happened to mention a couple of things that didn't quite work for me. (I can't help it -- attempting to write novels has somewhat killed my ability to just read and enjoy... … Continue reading “It’s just a story”

Character and conflict in The Liveship Traders

I’m currently reliving Robin Hobb’s Liveship Traders trilogy during my commute to and from work in the car. (Have I mentioned how much I love audiobooks?) I first read this amazing fantasy trilogy back in 2005 and it has since resided firmly near the top of my all-time favourite novels/series. Even so, I’ve previously read … Continue reading Character and conflict in The Liveship Traders

Vale Sara

It's very difficult to put into words how I felt yesterday upon hearing about the death of Sara Douglass, a true pioneer of Australian fantasy. Even today, having had time to reflect and read some of the tributes, I feel intensely and confusedly emotional. I did not personally know Sara Douglass. I never even had … Continue reading Vale Sara

Horse camp

A familiar trope often found in fantasy stories is the riding of horses as part of a journey or quest. These days the genre is diverse enough that the presence of horses is not inevitable, but many writers (including me) still find this method of transport -- and the idea of journeying across the imagined … Continue reading Horse camp

Robert McKee Thriller Day – part 2

So, in the previous post I only got as far as the introduction in my summary of the McKee Thriller day. Here is part 2, in which the crime is committed and the protagonist victimised . . . Antagonist is key When writing crime stories, it turns out you always start by creating the perfect … Continue reading Robert McKee Thriller Day – part 2

Rough draft or solid opening?

After a fairly solid month of writing, I've produced an opening chunk of the new novel project. It's rather rough in parts (as previously noted), but I'm starting to feel the story take shape. The decision now is whether to keep going with a literally rough draft, or whether to dive back into the opening … Continue reading Rough draft or solid opening?