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

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

Bad decision vs stupid decision

One of the undisputed rules of storytelling is to hurt your characters: the protagonist must either fail to achieve a goal and in so doing make things worse, or achieve that goal at a cost that outweighs the benefit. If the writer is doing it right, in most cases things spiral out of control because … Continue reading Bad decision vs stupid decision

‘What if?’ and the art of pessimism

One afternoon recently, I found myself contemplating 'what if?', and it struck me that my thoughts were tending towards the pessimistic. (What if I let the dog off the lead and he ran onto the road? What if I chopped my finger off with the secateurs through carelessness? ...) But then I realised that this is what … Continue reading ‘What if?’ and the art of pessimism