Tag Archives: Tradecraft

Kill Your Darlings… but only if they don’t fit.

When writing there’s always a sense of “let’s see where this takes me”. At the same time, however, there are also lighthouses that we tack towards across the dark and choppy waters of unwritten fiction. In many cases, these are … Continue reading

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Constructive Incomprehension: Conveying the Alien

Recently finished Ann Leckie‘s celebrated Ancillary Justice. It’s well-crafted space opera with what feels like both a familiar and original setting. It’s well written to the extent that when you read the post-epilogue interview and see that she deliberately modelled it … Continue reading

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Arctic Characters and Character Arcs

Last night finished watching the final episode of Fortitude. The series is set in an Arctic Island and borrows a lot from long-form crime dramas like Broadchurch or The Killing (The Killing’s  Sofie Gråbøl has a supporting role). There is a lot of … Continue reading

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Disinterest and Conviction: Personal politics and Creation

“So much for Objective Literature. Don’t bother to look for it here — not under any byline of mine; or anyone else I can think of. With the possible exception of things like box scores, race results, and stock market … Continue reading

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The price of a half-bright idea

NORMA:  And you have written pictures, haven’t you? GILLIS: Sure have. The last one I wrote was about cattle rustlers. Before they were through with it, the whole thing played on a torpedo boat. – Sunset Boulevard Recently had an … Continue reading

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Opening shots

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season … Continue reading

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If I only wrote what I know, I’d be silent.

Started a new job recently, and it’s an interesting one, dealing with secrets, bureaucracy, the public, and the public interest. It led me to considering the old writer’s adage of “write what you know”. This is (at least partially) sage … Continue reading

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