Hello, and welcome to my Writing Tips for Fantasy [and other] Authors. This is the first in a series of blogs I will be posting focusing on helping those who want to turn their desire to put down their stories on paper into a reality.
My hope is that these posts will help others find their way along the exciting path that takes one from being a writer to being an author. As with any worthy goal, the journey there can, at times, seem an arduous one, beset with doubts, pitfalls and innumerable other barriers. Just getting started is probably one of the biggest hurdles of all.
I’ll deal with all of these obstacles, and much more besides, in the posts to follow. The first bit of good news is that none of the obstacles are insurmountable, however daunting they may at first seem. The second bit of good news is that the feeling of achievement and satisfaction once you get there is, I can guarantee you, well worth the effort.
Hopefully, just the fact that you are reading this post shows that you have begun to take your first steps along that path. Well done! Keep going.
Before I go any further, I should start off by making it clear that I don’t lay claim to being any more of an expert in these matters than anyone else. For my undergraduate degree, I majored in English, Latin and Classics [the classical world, that is, not the works of Jane Austen and co]. I’ve written and published a high fantasy novel. Before I retired, I had a long career in the public sector which required me to produce lengthy, high-quality, written work on an ongoing basis. But I know that many others have similar if not vastly more impressive credentials.
The thing is, in my experience, some of the best advice I’ve ever received has been suggestions that I’d already heard, or had seen before, but which I hadn’t previously embraced. It seems that, for many, if not most of us, it is not what is said, but how and when, that determines how well we absorb it. We often have to hear it at just the right time, or in just the right way, to ‘get it’.
Perhaps, it’s more the case that when we are absorbing a very large amount of information or advice, our subconscious files some of the overflow away in a safe place until something happens to bring it back to the forefront of our mind, or until we are ready to pay heed to it or give it proper consideration.
One thing is certain. We are all different, and the kind of advice which resonates with some people will differ from what resonates with others. Hopefully, what I have to say will hit the right note for you.
Having put all those qualifications on the table up front, I hope you find my posts in some way useful. If you do, or if you know someone else who you think might benefit from them, please feel free to share them.
These tips will be based on my thoughts, my experience, and my perspective on the great volume of information and advice that is out there for writers, or would-be writers, to consider and absorb. There is a lot to chose from, and that alone can be a barrier. Where do you start?
I’ll try to help you with that. To do so, I’ll follow a very old bit of wisdom. I’ll start at the beginning and work my way through to the end — topic by topic.
Enjoy the journey. I hope this helps you get to where you want to be. To quote one of my favourite authors [JRR Tolkien]:
The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.
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