City of Lies by Sam Hawke
 

City of Lies

ARC Review

 
Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks
 

Consider Phlebas

Review

 
Charles Phipps – Interview
 

C. T. Phipps

Interview

 

Browsing all articles in Writing.

Creating a Magic System

Creating a Magic System 

The naming of a thing gives you power over it. Sorcery is the will and the word. Cast fireball now and you won’t be able to again until tomorrow and have finished your revision. Magic systems exist in scores of fantasy novels. Diverse in their rules, varying in complexity, they instruct us in how the […]

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Knocking People Out: Easier In Fiction Than In Real Life

Knocking People Out: Easier In Fiction Than In Real Life 

It’s a common scenario in many kinds of fiction, including fantasy: a character passes out, either because they’ve been knocked on the head or injured or drugged, and the world “goes black” or they “fall into darkness”. The unfortunate character usually wakes up several hours or days later in a new place, disoriented and sometimes […]

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Blurring The Lines

Blurring The Lines 

So I started reading the Dragon Prince trilogy by Melanie Rawn. It’s part of the classical fantasy cannon, and the books have been on my TBR pile for ages. While I am enjoying the books, one aspect that stands out to me is the obvious tone implicit in the “sides” of the story and their […]

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How Ideas Become Stories

How Ideas Become Stories 

One of the most common questions an author will hear is, “Where do you get your ideas from?” As if that was all you needed to write a successful book. Ideas are important, but they’re not some mystical spark from the divine, if you’re in the right mind-set you can probably come up with dozens […]

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Taming MICE – The MICE Quotient and Storytelling

Taming MICE – The MICE Quotient and Storytelling 

Fantasy is a genre of strange and diverse stories covering countless themes, concepts and ideas, in order to gain a better understanding of how our stories work and the nature of their structure, it can be useful to look at the ways they are categorised and study what traits make them what they are. The […]

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Creating a Fantasy Race

Creating a Fantasy Race 

The fantasy genre is filled with an astonishing array of wildly different races that populate our stories. Some are drawn from older myths and legends like elves and dwarfs while others are brand new creations from the author’s imagination. Would-be worldbuilders might think it’s just a matter of slapping some limbs together and thinking up […]

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November: To NaNo or Not to NaNo?

November: To NaNo or Not to NaNo? 

To NaNo, or not to NaNo? That is the question! And the answer is – yes you should! Take a look around at the people near you this November. What are they doing with their time? How are they filling those dark nights now the clocks have changed? With romance, with TV, with that video […]

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Worlds Within Worlds – Part Five: Qi and Fantasy

Worlds Within Worlds – Part Five: Qi and Fantasy 

Most people associate magic with strange symbols, chanting, and waving a wand around. Dusty books are usually in the picture, along with ritual circles or sacrifices. The mages themselves are usually old men with grey beards—frail but knowledgeable. I’ve already written about them. Compare that kind of magic and mage to qigong and (arguably) its […]

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How To Self-Publish

How To Self-Publish 

This one has been bubbling up for a while… Over the last few months, various discussions have erupted around the subject of self-publishing, specifically how it should be done. There have also been a few blog posts on the subject. There’s been a lot of banter. Mostly friendly, but it has got heated in places. […]

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Worlds Within Worlds – Part Four: Old Grey Beards

Worlds Within Worlds – Part Four: Old Grey Beards 

If you ask someone on the street to name the first three wizards that come to mind, you’ll probably hear the names Gandalf, Merlin, and Dumbledore (or Rincewind, if they’re trying to be clever). The image of the white-bearded old man with a staff is woven into modern fantasy, to the point that Pratchett filled […]

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The Pros and Cons of a Macro Timescale

The Pros and Cons of a Macro Timescale 

Most fantasy and science fiction series tend to be, by their very nature, large in scope. We expect stories about the fate of worlds, the rise and fall of empires, and history in the making. A book might still focus on a character’s personal, small-scale struggle, but it’s rare the focus will only be on […]

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How The Other Half Successfully Self-Publish

How The Other Half Successfully Self-Publish 

Uncle Mike has some things to say, people, and you’re not prying this karaoke mic from his hand until he’s done. Is this thing on? Right, okay. Hello. My name is Michael McClung, but for the duration of this little talk, you can think of me as Uncle Mike. In the self publishing world, I’m […]

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