Ideas: Where Do They Come From?

It’s now a cliche, to ask a writer, “Where do you get your ideas?” It’s been a long time since anyone bothered to ask me that, and most of those were not out of any particular admiration – generally more along the lines of, “Where on earth do you come up with this wierdness, anyway?”. I decided I’m going to answer it anyhow, because it’s an essential part of the whole process. After all, you don’t get far writing unless you can think of something to write about. I’m reluctant to comment on where anyone else gets their ideas, but …

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Assumptions: Culture and Technology

Along the same lines as my previous post about assumptions, but of a different kind: Why is it that fantasy fiction is, with overwhelming frequency, set in a thinly-disguised version of Dark Ages, or possibly Renaissance, Western Europe? There are exceptions, of course, but this has become a kind of industry standard. Even if there’s no sign of Christianity as such, basic Christian values as understood in the modern mainstream Western world (not the same values as understood in actual medieval Europe) are prevalent. Men have careers and literally wear the trousers; women stay home to mind the fourteen …

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Assumptions: Gender and Sex

Everyone has basic assumptions about the world around us. We have to; they’re a part of how we keep functioning. When you’re writing, however, and especially if you’re writing speculative fiction of any sort (speculative fiction is an umbrella term for fantasy, science fiction, and anything else that doesn’t fit precisely into either but is nonetheless outside “normal reality”), it’s a good time to take a look at your own assumptions. Speculative fiction is, after all, about transgressing the normal rules. I’m not going to try to give specific instances of these, mainly because there are so many I’ve long …

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Guest Blog; Passion – Writing for Yourself

It’s fascinating to me that there are others who feel the same way I do – this is very much in the same spirit as my recent post on publishing, I think. Even once you’ve decided that your own satisfaction is the most important thing of all, it’s always nice to find that you aren’t alone. :-)

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Right brain + left brain = magic

Everyone’s perception of the direct process of creativity is going to be unique to them. I experience it in terms of two halves working together – right brain and left brain, for lack of any terminology that works better. The story itself, the content, often feels like it comes from outside of me; I’m just watching the events, writing them down as rapidly as my hand can move. Characters and setting are there, waiting for me to tap into them, and once I tune in properly, the characters go ahead and do their thing. Friends have many times heard me …

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