Friday Five: It is Wednesday?

I ask that because my wife just asked that. Seriously. Also, because that’s honestly as brain dead as I am today. I would say something pithy but I’ve really got nothing. Which is a problem, because I’ve also got a shortage of material for this week, which means plenty of it will come from my brain.

But don’t worry, I can always write this Saturday morning instead. Huzzah.

1. Let’s start with something I’ve been meaning to put up for a while, and that’s a shout out for Miles Cameron’s twitter videos on medieval combat. They’re great fun and a great resource for authors too.

2. Now, let’s shout out some bloggers. I was pleased with my interview with Aliette de Bodard, but her interview at The Quiet Pond is a straight up better read in my opinion. Can’t lie, the moment I saw it I chucked a bunch of my questions out the window because this interview does such a good job of getting to the book’s themes that I saw no point in replicating the effort. So a big thank you to Skye there.

Now let’s talk some reviews I’ve enjoyed. Shannon’s review of Villainous has got that comic down on my list. This review of The Sealed Citadel at the Weatherwax Report got me to take a kindle sample. Bookforager’s review of The Diviners has kept it alive in my memory as a “one of these days” series, while Para’s review of The Skyward Inn makes me regret not getting in on the action earlier.

Finally, I just found this list of general thoughts/tips on writing from John Mendez – it’s a lot more than a list really – that’s well worth looking at.

3. Over at r/Fantasy, they’re holding their “Best Books by Women 2021” poll, so go ahead and make yourself heard there. And my make yourself known, I mean vote for my favourite authors (when I figure out who they are).

4. I’m running out of cool stuff so I might rant a little. Rant One – stories that are all about mystery and character growth that decided the climax should be a giant fight are making a mistake. You have got us all invested in one type of storytelling and then thrown your hands up in the air and said “And now what you’ve been waiting for – action!” Wrong. If I was waiting for action, I’d have taken in a goddamn action story. It was you want to tell a story that’s a blend, then sure, but the big action ending to the non-action story is a mistake. It’s a very common mistake which means most writers do it without thinking – I know I do – and most audiences accept it, so it’s not that big of a one, but it’s still a mistake because it leads to disappointed people all the time. I think part of it is that action’s a lot easier to get right than emotions, so people like to end with the safe option, but to me that is a mistake. It is the acceptance of a reliable good over potentially great; it is the storytelling “fuck it there’s a Wagamama over there” over trying some dodgy hole in the wall where lifetime memories may be made. Storytellers; give us the ending that makes sense for the story.

5. Okay. Last thing. You saw my community consensus definition of grimdark thing? I’m thinking of expanding this to all the fantasy genres. So if anyone has suggestions of what they see as the core fantasy subgenres to ask questions about, or the genre confusions they see most often – let me have them!

There we go. A “Friday” five, because time was always an illusion and now it’s a bad one. Have a good weekend all!

2 thoughts on “Friday Five: It is Wednesday?

  1. Genre questions. What is “dark fantasy”? What is “urban fantasy”? What is “swords and sorcery”? What is “paranormal fantasy”? What is “heroic fantasy”?

    Liked by 1 person

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