Tag Archives: writing advice

4 Ways to Beat the Winter Writing Blahs | House Blog

I don’t know if it’s the darker days or the colder weather, but there’s something about winter that makes me want to crawl under a pile of warm blankets and not emerge until June.

I tend to put off a lot of things during the winter – getting groceries, cleaning, socializing, and sometimes even writing. So, if you’re like me, here are some tips on how to stay productive during those dark and dreary winter months!

Continue reading 4 Ways to Beat the Winter Writing Blahs | House Blog

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Otaku ’bout It: Why Horror Is Having a Moment

If you have any kind of feel for the zeitgeist then you’ve noticed that the horror genre is having quite the moment nowadays. There have always been successful horror movies like Paranormal Activity or Saw that spawn lucrative imitators, etc. but presently there are releases that are also enjoying heaps of critical praise like Get Out, Hereditary, and The Witch. Some critics have labelled these “elevated” horror, but I think that’s a condescending and unnecessary classification. Any horror fan will tell you that the genre has always enjoyed a wealth of sophisticated material, despite being unappreciated by mainstream critics. Nevertheless, it’s hard to deny the quantity of quality in addition to the box office remuneration.

I would argue that horror as a genre is in a unique position to take advantage of the present media landscape, particularly the way media is currently consumed and disseminated. Continue reading Otaku ’bout It: Why Horror Is Having a Moment

Write Like No One’s Reading | Brad Dunne’s Blog

This weekend I will be launching my debut novel, After Dark Vapours. It’s obviously a very exciting time for me; publishing a book has been a dream for me ever since I was a little kid reading Goosebumps. Likewise, I’ve been lucky to have experienced an outpouring of support and enthusiasm from friends and family. Perhaps the most common refrain I hear, especially from bookish friends, is that they too have always wanted to write a book. If you’re reading this and also feel the same, believe me when I tell you that if I can do it, you can do it. So, with that in mind, I’d like to give you all some advice that I wish someone gave me when I started writing:

Write like no one is reading. Continue reading Write Like No One’s Reading | Brad Dunne’s Blog

Trusting Your Brain | House Blog

Sometimes it seems like my brain knows more than it lets on.

Even when I don’t notice, it’s back there – constantly churning out story ideas, thinking about writing projects, and generally working in the background. Not that I’m complaining, mind you.

The thing that amazes me is that I think my brain is smarter than I am.

When I wrote The Six Elemental I was writing about Kit’s journey of coming to terms with being a living mythical being. It was only after I’d gone through my third draft that I realized there was an underlying theme of how outside influences can effect* how a person grows up. There’s a big difference between the person Kit is (growing up on Briton with a Humanist step-father) and the person Kit could have been (with a more accepting influence).

When I wrote The Fifth Queen (still in it’s editing stages), I was writing about a different character’s journey (plus a few familiar ones). After I’d written the first draft I realized that I’d done another parallel theme – this time, about accepting responsibility. One character accepts that they have a duty to uphold, while another character rejects it.

But I’d never thought about that when I was writing the story. That parallel hadn’t crossed my mind once while I was writing. Instead it was something that just happened to appear when I was going through the first draft.

My brain put it there because it’s smart, y’all. Maybe too smart…

So if you’re writing something and you’re not sure where your story’s going or what it’s all about, don’t worry about it. Just keep writing and eventually you’ll figure something out. Sometimes you won’t know until the end of your first draft (or maybe even the fifth), but as long as you’re telling a compelling story with interesting characters, eventually it’ll all become clear.

Trust your brain.

It knows – even if you don’t.

_______

*It’s too late** for me to care whether effect/affect is right, so this is the word I’m using. I’ll figure out if it’s wrong/right sometime maybe never.

**It’s only 11:54pm AST, so I’m not late! It’s still Sept 18th over here!

Tips for Writing Different Genres

Last week Engen announced their next anthology – Dystopia From the Rock. This genre isn’t as widely known as their previous anthologies (I know I did a double-take), but don’t fear!  If you’ve never written dystopian before, you’ve got until October 31 to learn how!

Today I’ll be offering some tips on how I write strange-to-me genres. Although I mostly stick to Fantasy, Sci-Fi, and Fiction, I’m not against branching out.  If I have an idea for a story, I’ll chase it wherever it’ll take me.

What follows are some of the steps I take to get myself into the mind-set of a new genre (and that I will surely be using when I try to write something dystopian):

  Continue reading Tips for Writing Different Genres

“What is Dystopia?” | Dystopia from the Rock

This week, Engen Books announced its 2019 call for submissions and focused in on Dystopia as the genre of choice for their anthology collection. As Dystopia is slightly separate from the ‘Big Three’ genres we’ve explored to far (Sci-fi, Fantasy, and Horror), we thought it would be appropriate to ask the question: “What is Dystopia?”

The word Dystopia comes from Greek heritage, where it means a society or community that is undesirable or frightening. Directly translated it means ‘not a good place’ and is used as an opposite for Utopia. In fact, many successful Dystopian stories use elements of both Utopia and Dystopia, in which a seemingly-Utopian society is revealed to be Dystopian for those of a lesser class. For a great example of this, see the 2005 Micheal Bay film, The Island description.

Dystopian stories are often allegorical. They have a hard time not being so, as depicting what we imagine to be a troubled future cannot help but have some reflection on how the author — and the reader — views the present. Dystopian novels seem to often start with the goal of answering the question: “If we continue down X path, how bad could things get?” A common hallmark of dystopian stories is that often enough time has passed that the protagonists cannot directly remember what the world was like before or were not present for the changed, making a society so different from our own that it may as well be alien.

Continue reading for some great examples to read to prep for writing your own Dystopian epic!

Continue reading “What is Dystopia?” | Dystopia from the Rock

“Where do you get your ideas?” | House Blog

For me, the simplest answer is:

My Brain. 

My brain is a very strange little thing, and it comes up with weird ideas all the time.  Some ideas are half-formed and need to be thought about before they become something I can actually work with.  Some are fully-formed scenes that merely need a story.  Some are just an object or one sentence.

I don’t think there’s a wrong way to come up with ideas.  There are probably a vast many different ways that a person can be inspired – and what inspires me might not inspire someone else.

However…

If you’re looking for a longer answer, let’s get into detail:

Where do my ideas come from? Continue reading “Where do you get your ideas?” | House Blog