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Pantser, Plantser, Plotter. Is there a right way to write?

Field Notes on a Story

Lets start with a couple of definitions about the three principle types of writer that exist. If you engage in any of the forums you will come across these regularly. Pantser: The least restricted of the three writers. A pantser flies by the seat of their pants (hence the term) and writes where the story takes them, with no preparation or planning and just an idea and the wind (and sometimes...

NaNoWriMo 2020 Begins

NaNoWriMo 2020

Call yourself a writer? Ever tried NaNoWriMo? The goal is to write 50,000 words in 30 days. And it starts tomorrow! I have known about NaNoWriMo for a while now from an Antipodean friend – Elizabeth Woods – and her contributions on Daily Write, but I only registered for the challenge last year. Running 4 restaurants at the time meant I dropped out as there just wasn’t time to...

Journal 8: 26 October

Write without fear. Edit without mercy.

So much for regularity! It’s been a couple of months since the last post, so I’ll dive in with a quick round-up of posts. New Posts Foundation & Empire by Isaac Asimov [Book Review]Second Foundation by Isaac Asimov [Book Review]Succubus [New Poetry by me]Toxic Magnetism: How & Why Empaths Attract Narcissists [Book Review]Empath Awakening: How to Stop Absorbing Pain, Stress...

Review: Second Foundation

Foundation 1

This is the conclusion of the trilogy. You can read my reviews of Foundation and Foundation & Empire if you want my thoughts on the other books in the series. I found this book a little harder to listen to. It contained more hard science than the preceding volumes which I felt punctuated the flow. It was insightful and necessary to explain the genius of the theory of psychohistory (the new...

Review: Foundation and Empire

Foundation 1

Another superb listen. In this continuation of the saga we have two more interlinked stories which continue the timeline. The first is the war between the Foundation and the Empire. The second concerns The Mule, an unpredicted mutant. As usual, Asimov concerns himself with the more psychological and broader events of the developments of the galaxy as the Empire crumbles and the Foundation grows...

Journal 7: 8 August

Write without fear. Edit without mercy.

Checking in for the 7th time now and still not much progress on the main ‘work in progress’ so I thought I would change the format of the post. I’ll still check in every couple of weeks and post what I’ve been working on, but might go a little deeper into other aspects also. It’s a moving feast! New Posts Foundation by Isaac Asimov [Book Review]A Question of Values...

Review: Foundation

Foundation 1

Superb. Foundation is essentially a chronology of interlinked shorter stories which span a period of time from the birth of the Foundation through to its third key crisis (about 200 years). Each story links with the previous, and the narration of this audiobook is excellent. The writing is tight and interesting with political machinations, intrigue and layers within layers. The science of the...

WIP Edition 6: 25 July

Write without fear. Edit without mercy.

Writing Non Fiction Book Reviews: Lord of the Rings: Return of the King,The Three Questions: How to Discover & Master the Power Within You Restaurant Articles: Build your own NHS Track & Trace App in an Hour Reading I finished the Lord of the Rings trilogy and, despite the archaic language, I found it an excellent listen. Definitely recommended reading for any fantasy buff to see where...

Review: Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Return of the King

Although the language is archaic in places (‘lo’ and ‘quail’ feature), often prosaic and there are songs a-plenty, this final book in the trilogy closes the saga beautifully. From huge-scale battles to intimate meetings and the conclusion of Saruman and Golem’s stories, this book has it all. I found myself moved with Merry and Théoden’s parting and also at the...

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About me

About 40 years ago, I discovered role-playing and Dungeons and Dragons in one of the after school clubs. It revealed a universe that allowed me to flex my storytelling muscles and enjoy a mixture of fantasy and sci-fi and feed the escapist dreamer inside.

Over time, I played (and story-led - marked with *) many systems including Call of Cthulhu*, Shadowrun, Dungeons & Dragons*, Middle Earth, In Nomine*, Bushido, Chivalry & Sorcery, Chill, Warhammer, Warhammer 40k, Gammaworld, Hawkmoon, Stormbringer, Immortals*, Marvel Super Heroes, Paranoia, RuneQuest, Vampire: The Masquerade*, and a couple of systems my own devising (Medieval* and Parody*).

I explored live-action role-playing – eventually running my own club and creating my own LARP systems (Fools Gold and Dream Conquest) – and usually found myself in script-writing or game-master duty, writing over 500 individual live adventures over the period (usually weekly), many linked into the world events of the fantasy land we created. I also volunteered for Curious Pastimes and Lorien Trust at their main LARP events (special effects at the Ritual Circle), and did a little script work, cameos and improv for Curious Pastimes. I was also the South East's Editor (UK) for the LARP magazine The Adventurer. The biggest event I ran was a 10-month modern-day "murder mystery" LARP set around parts of Kent where characters were "always-on" and could get updates and interactions at any time outside of scheduled events. That was in the 1990s.

I was also the artistic director for English Heritage for their live Halloween Horrors events at Fort Amherst in Kent from 1998-1999.

Now, I write as the mood takes me with occasional competitions and challenges, and this year (2020) I will be taking on #NaNoWriMo.

Here's to the future!