Trope and cliché aren’t that different. Maybe a good working definition can be that a ‘cliché’ is a badly done or over-used ‘trope’, while a ‘trope’ is a ‘cliché’ used imaginatively to remind the reader of what’s familiar and likable in a genre. In the former situation, the author is lazy; in the latter, they’re … Continue reading TROPES AND TRAPS – Avoiding Cliché in Fantasy Writing (part 2)
It’s tricky to balance writing originally while still pleasing readers. If a fantasy author does this right, they’ve made magic. But it isn’t easy. Fantasy readers generally like more of what they’ve liked in the past, so an author needs to 1) be aware of the genre’s tropes and 2) include at least some of … Continue reading TROPES AND TRAPS – Avoiding Cliché in Fantasy Writing
Sex is the third rail for a fantasy novel. Sex is remarkably unpopular per the following four fantasy book reviewers' stipulations about books they don't want to critique. 'Absolutely no erotica''I do NOT review erotica''no erotica/sex scenes''I will not except (sic) erotica' The last of these quotes is my favorite. Poor word choice aside, lust … Continue reading Too Hot to Handle?
Fiction authors get asked whether they're planers or 'pantsers'. This means does the author, before setting fingers to keyboard, plot out their entire story, and the characters arcs, and settings, and the themes/conflicts - and then stick to this plan until the work is finished? Or do they just start writing with only a vague … Continue reading Gods and Tyrants – The Novelist’s Creative Process
Annually for the last 7 years, the noted fantasy author, Mark Lawrence, organizes a competition to identify the best new, self-published fantasy novel. This is SPFBO ('Self Published Fantasy Blog Off'). It's gotten bigger every year and this May 300 authors submitted in less than 24 hours (the contest is limited to 300 books). The … Continue reading THE LORDS OF THE SUMMER SEASON in SPFBO 7