I personally am a big fan of used book stores. I even worked at a used book store after college.
Used book stores are great for readers, because you can get books cheap. A lot of used bookstores have a trade-in program, so you can treat the store kind of like a library; if you bring books to trade, you can basically get new books for free. Used books stores often have a selection of out of print or other hard-to-find books that you can’t get at Barnes and Noble or even on Amazon. In short, used book stores are a book lover’s heaven.
But what about the other side of the coin? Do writers love used book stores as much as readers do? Now that I’m a writer with published books for sale, I have to think about this from the business side of things. (Granted, my books are currently only available as ebooks on Amazon, so the used book store debate doesn’t directly affect me at the moment.) But still, I’m thinking about this from an author’s perspective. Continue reading
What is historical fantasy? Well, in my mind, historical fantasy is just what it sounds like: historical fiction with a fantastical twist. Just like contemporary fantasy or urban fantasy has a present-day setting but features magic, monsters, and other elements of fantasy – historical fantasy is the same, but just using a time and place from history as the setting.
Right now I am writing historical fantasy – specifically I’m writing dieselpunk or decopunk, stories set in the 1920s, but with magic and some advanced technology. I’m doing a lot of research, but I’m also doing a lot of world-building from scratch.
Here are some tips that I am applying to my own work, and that I think are important to consider if you want to start writing historical fantasy: Continue reading
I recently wrote a post about seeing the details. Details add richness and flavor to stories and to life.
Along those same lines, seeing the big picture is just as important. Where I’m living now in north Idaho, everything is big: the trees, the mountains, and especially the sky.
Do you listen to music while you write? Do you listen to music to calm your soul, or boost your energy? This tranquil, inspiring track might just be suitable for all of the above! Enjoy!
Let me know how this music inspires you this week!
Many people ask me where I get my ideas. That’s always a tough question to answer, but today I’ll share some tips on where I get ideas for worldbuilding. I hope these help you to create alien creatures, futuristic technology, magic spells, new cultures, and all the trappings of building a world.
Build on Common Tropes
I wrote this post a while back about being unoriginal when creating fantasy creatures. There’s a reason that so many fantasy stories feature dragons and dwarves and goblins. And yet, the dragons and dwarves and goblins are different in every story, every world, every sub-genre. There are as many ways to add unique elements to the old standby of “large fire-breathing dragon” as there are people to write the stories. Don’t discount the old traditional classics as a great jumping-off point for original ideas.
Build on Real Things
In this post, I discuss two examples of stories that use real animals as fantasy races. Like the previous point, there’s a lot of value in starting with something familiar and then adding your own creativity to it. Whether you’re creating a race of armor-wearing polar bears, or a dystopian sci-fi world where dolphin and whales have advanced beyond humans, there’s a ton of inspiration in the real world all around. Continue reading
This week I was stumped for a blog post idea, due in part to being focused on lots of other writerly things besides blogging. I love blogging and I’ve kept at it for years, so don’t worry – I won’t be going anywhere. In the coming weeks I’ll be back to sharing writerly quotes and giving tips about writing and storytelling. But in the meantime, here’s what I’ve been up to.
I’m working on putting my sci-fi novella Blueshift on Nook and iBooks. So if you have a Nook or an Apple device, you’ll soon be able to read it! Continue reading