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Editor's advice

Worldbuilding 5: culture

Culture

Culture is a slippery concept; it's one of those terms we all know the meaning of until we actually think about it. For the writer, culture can be a two-edged sword: ignore it and your story lacks depth, colour and context; focus too much on it and you risk bamboozling - or worse, boring - your reader into putting the book down.  Read more

Worldbuilding 3: geography and physical location

Geography and physical location

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Worldbuilding 2: the basics of writing fantasy fiction

The basics of writing fantasy fiction

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Worldbuilding 1: character names in fantasy novels

Character names in fantasy novels

 

One of the more rewarding - and difficult - things about writing a fantasy novel is having the opportunity to create and describe a world different from our own; one where magic is real, where non-human beings interact with us, and where reality has a shape and texture that is anything but mundane.  Read more

The Pedant: how to make your editor happy 5: The trouble with ‘as’

The trouble with ‘as’

If you edit for long enough, you inevitably develop pet hates and bugbears; constructions or word usages that just get your goat. Sometimes these are frequent errors, such as the confusion of ‘that' and ‘which', or the misuse of punctuation. Sometimes they are constructions that smack of lazy, sloppy writing.  Read more

The Pedant 4: how to make your editor happy. Spoilt for choice: formats and fonts

Spoilt for choice: formats and fonts

Since the advent of home computing and the easy availability of word processing and publishing software (is it really only a generation ago?), the budding writer has been faced with a wonderland of possibilities; or a tyranny of choices, depending on your point of view.  Read more

The Pedant: how to make your editor happy 4: Spoilt for choice: formats and fonts

Spoilt for choice: formats and fonts

Since the advent of home computing and the easy availability of word processing and publishing software (is it really only a generation ago?), the budding writer has been faced with a wonderland of possibilities; or a tyranny of choices, depending on your point of view.  Read more

The Pedant: how to make your editor happy 3: Bells and whistles? The use of bold, italics and capital letters in prose fiction

Bells and whistles? The use of bold, italics and capital letters in prose fiction

There are times when, no matter how well you write, you need typographical support to emphasise a point. English is a wonderfully flexible and suggestive language, but it can't do everything by itself, and replacing plain type with, for instance, italics, can really help the reader to understand what's happening in your story.  Read more

The Pedant: how to make your editor happy 1: Accents and dialects

Accents and dialects: spelling your way into trouble

‘Oi'm sarry to bather ye, Mam.'

‘We ‘ave ze wonderfool patisseries, no?'

‘'Ere, leave orf, will yer, I ain't dun nuffink.'  Read more

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