Don’t Drown the Meat: Worldbuilding and Mark Lawrence

A brilliant blog post for a brilliant book.

James Cormier

Fantasy writers (and science fiction writers, to a lesser extent, since they are less often in the position of starting entirely from scratch) worry a lot about worldbuilding.  It’s really the most unique thing about writing in this genre.  In addition to crafting character, plot, theme, and all of the other various parts that make up a novel, you’re in the position of actually creating an entirely new world.

The problem lies in building your world while also preserving the quality of your story and your prose–introducing the reader to the exotic while still focusing on what’s really important: character.  In the end, the world must serve the characters, or you’re doing it wrong.  As much as we’d all like to self-indulgently nerd out over the details of our world’s history or the intricacies of our super-creative, ultra-unique new magic system, ultimately it’s all for naught if the story and the…

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HUGE Game Of Thrones George R R Martin Giveaway! WIN a Box Set of ASOIAF!

H L Petrovic

George R R Martin, ASOIAF 7 Book Box Set George R R Martin, ASOIAF 7 Book Box Set

Greetings Brave Adventurers,
Thanks to my wonderful friends at Bookworld  I have a beautiful boxed set of George R R Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” to give away! This amazing prize features all 7 books, and is valued at $99.00 RRP!

Bookworld always offers free delivery Australia wide, so the lucky winner will have their shiny new books delivered right to their door!

HOW TO ENTER:

“I want it! How do I get it?!”

Entry is easy. All you have to do is answer this question:

What is your favourite quote / moment from George R R Martin’s ASOIAF series?

Leave your response in the ‘comments’ below, and include your state and suburb. This competition is open to Australian residents only, and this will ensure your entry is valid. Limit of one entry per person, please!

Credit: Courtesy of gameofthrones.wikia Credit: Courtesy of…

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Game of Thrones: The Mountain and the Viper

What can I say that hasn’t already been said a thousand times already? There won’t be any spoilers here, but those of you that have seen the episode or read the books will know what I’m talking about.

I waited two years for this scene to play out. Not as much as the people who read it on the release of Storm of Swords back in 2000. (Don’t hold it against me, I was only 5 years old at the time.) But I knew what was coming. I’ve known it for years.

And you know what?

It still shocked me. It still offered that tiny glimmer of hope that we dare to harvest when turning each page and sitting down for the next episode. They’ve made plenty of (good) changes this season, but I knew this wasn’t going to be any different from the books. It couldn’t have been. And I knew that. But it’s still a cold, hard punch in the gut, even if you’ve seen the fist flying for miles and miles away. So even knowing what was coming didn’t lessen the impact that much. Maybe it was the way in which it was handled, but it was still a shock regardless. And you know what? That’s what makes Game of Thrones the best show of TV of all time.

I don’t know how I’m going to handle the next two episodes…even though I know what’s coming. For those of you who don’t…well, you’re in for a treat. Plenty of them. But you just might not like the taste…

New publication, and May the 4th be with you…

So, one lazy Sunday I got an email from Quantum Fairy Tales. They wanted a short that I sent them months and months ago. To be honest I’d forgotten about it, as this was one of the first short stories I’d written and I didn’t think anyone would accept it. But whatdya know, they wanted it. And now it’s in Issue #7, along with a bunch of other awesome stories by people just as zany as me. This is the cover art for it (which I love):

Awesome, yeah? You can read my story, Contact Zero, here.

In other news, I’ve got a story coming in Ion Newcombe’s AntipodeanSF podcast slash e-zine. I’m not too confident about my ability to narrate my own story, but I’ll give it a crack.

Also, dig up your old plastic lightsaber and do your best Chewbucca impression, ‘coz it’s international Star Wars day! I was going to go to the movie marathon for it down in Sydney (you know, George street Events Cinema?), but I wasn’t sure I wanted to sit for eight and a half hours, and I couldn’t see the original trilogy either, so it would have had to be the prequel trilogy, so I much as I love Revenge of the Sith (I still remember my day taking me to see it at midnight when I was nine years old) I decided to give it a miss. It was also Free Comic Book Day, and although I don’t read comics, going was a no-brainer. It’s free, after all.

I also want to say thank you to all writers, readers, watchers, fans, creators and enthusiasts of science-fiction. The galaxy wouldn’t be the same if it weren’t for these awesome works that are larger than life and aren’t just pieces of fiction: they’re works of art. (I can hear the literary snobs gasping upon reading this. If you’re one of ’em, go live in exile on Tatooine with your precious “serious fiction”, lest you face the wrath of the Dark Side). So thank you to you all, and May the 4th be with you.

Anthology acceptance and other bits and bobs

So, something quite interesting happened this morning. I rolled out of bed, dreading the walk through the rain to get to my first uni class at around 9am. Anyway, as always, I checked my email, expecting more spam and a possible reply to a submission I sent out. Well, I did have one. And it turns out it was an acceptance, by Barbwire Butterflies (an imprint of Horrifying Press) for their Woods themed anthology. As you can imagine, I was ecstatic. My excitement increased when I discovered that my story, Murder of Crows, will be printed in paperback, online as an e-book, inside the Woods anthology.
This was by far the best news I’ve had since my first publication back in June 2013. Being part of such a big press and in print (meaning it’ll be in stores) was something I could barely comprehend. As you can imagine, my classes suffered as a result.

I just wish more people wrote this stuff and it was studied more frequently. Of course, according to (the majority of) my lecturers and teachers, I shouldn’t be wasting time with such “non-literature” nonsense like fantasy and sci-fi and should focus on “serious” fiction instead like dysfunctional families, cheating wives and coming of age stories. That’s where the real creativity and imagination comes from.
It’s true, I shouldn’t be wasting my time with that mindless nonsense trash about space, magic and castles. But honestly, it’s occurred to me that I’m just not smart enough for that other “high” literature. It seems that I’m going to have to stick with the dumbed down speculative and genre fiction for now.

Alright, enough sarcasm. Check the other stuff by Barbwire Butterflies out and look out for the Woods themed anthology later this year!

Also, in other news, I saw Noah last night. Not bad at all, really. Hollywoodized, of course. But not bad at all. Otherwise I’m just rummaging through hidden second hand shops, looking for literary/film treasures left behind by ungrateful human beings. I picked up these:


Not bad, eh?
Anyway, thanks for readin’, folks.

A Conversation with Loulou Szal

Looks like my mother got an interview (yay!). Have a read.
And I’m mentioned (somewhere) in it as well. Huh. Never thought she liked me that much.

You Read It Here First

loulou_headshot

Loulou Szal, a teacher and homeschooling mother, is passionate about advancing the vocabulary of children and teenagers, and inspiring the same love of reading that has been part of her life through a wide range of experiences. She makes a point to personalize the books she signs, to engage young readers in the story from the first page. She believes that “as adults, we should show children how precious books are” and she follows through on that philosophy in many ways. It was a pleasure to talk with her and discover her perspective.

Interviewer: Joanna Celeste

**********

Q: What inspired you to self-publish The Diary of Arnmore?

A: I had had my writing published in my high school newspapers and university papers. I loved having my work out there. After I graduated I went straight into teaching and so was busy.  I didn’t write as much ‘till my husband and I…

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Got my short story published!

Yep. I finally did it. I’ve contributed to the world’s library and have had my short story published on a writer’s website. If you are interested, it is entitled “Dreams and Dust”. No, it’s not a rip off from A Dance With Dragons. It’s science-fiction. If you want to know more you’ll have to pay the story a visit. And while you’re at it, leave a comment will you?

 

[url=http://authorspromoter.com/books_reviews_read_authors/international-short-story-competition/dreams-and-dust/]Here be the link.[/url]

 

If that doesn’t work, just go here: http://authorspromoter.com/books_reviews_read_authors/international-short-story-competition/dreams-and-dust/

 

Cheers, and happy writing!

Writing at Uni

One of the best things about university is that you’re told, no, commanded, to let your imagination go free. Work as hard as you can; achieve whatever you can. Publish, research, propose, discover, conclude, produce theories, launch websites, yada, yada, yada. It’s great stuff.

The negative part?

You’re hemmed into a specific method of doing something – such as writing. You can write what you want, but it has to be about this [insert random topic here]. You can have whatever colour you want, as long as it’s black. You know what I mean? Sure, I love some of my classes, (and hate others) but as a writer I feel that we aren’t given enough freedom. While others might write about themselves or their lives, I’d rather write about alternative universes, aliens, magic, the future, and whatever else comes to mind. It’s partially because my life isn’t that interesting, but it’s also because I feel there’s more to literature and university than complying by the rules. In some boring lectures I think about a new short story and by the end of the 2 hours I have about 1.5k of words down. Probably not something I should admit, but whilst university is a great place to expand your mind, they should allow you to think freely in how you do so.

 

Anyway, enough of my ranting: I’ve got some studying to do and some lectures to attend, although my mind will likely be elsewhere….

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