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On writing

In fantasy—more on inns and stew

There’s an interesting discussion over at Sarah Monette’s LiveJournal site Notes from the Labyrinth about food in fantasy. Sarah asked how writers go about inventing cuisines and delicacies and hawker food, especially when you don’t base it on a specific culture. Read the comments. They’re interesting. Most of those who commented agree on some basics. […]

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Talking about things

History: what goes around comes around

Isn’t it funny how much ‘civilisation’ we lose, and continue to reinvent, time and time again. Take plumbing and sanitation. Stone age farmers in the Orkney Islands built drains under their houses and had toilets over the drains. The Indus Valley civilisation in Asia (Afghanistan to Pakistan and northwest India) had a public water supply, […]

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Writing process

A gender-swapped example

I’ve been reading if We Wrote Men Like We Write Women and If We Wrote Men Like We Write Women Part II over at Jim C. Hines’ site. He’s switching the the gender of the men and women in passages from various books.  Robert Heinlen, Issac Asimov, Piers Anthony, Neal Stevenson and his own Libriomancer. […]

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Writing process

Bathing in a tub

What’s wrong with this? The tub and hot water Brianna had paid an extra copper for arrived promptly. Gods be praised. She couldn’t wait to be clean. She stripped quickly, dropping her filthy tunic on the floor in her eagerness to get to the water. Afterwards, she lay back in the tub and washed her […]

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On writing

An exercise in rewriting

We don’t write so much as rewrite. Sherylyn and I go through five and more major rewrites and dozens of minor ones for each novel. Not so for blogs. Our blogs get three drafts. The initial draft, one re-write if we have the time, and then a final polish before we post. As you can […]

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On writing

Are you a professional writer?

Note. This article has been extensively edited. If you want to read the new version, please see An Exercise in Rewriting instead. Are you a ‘professional’ writer Wow. Poor Lisa Morton. I bet she didn’t expect the outpouring of vitriol in response to her article ‘Ten questions to know if you’re a pro‘ on the […]

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On writing

Food in science fiction

Current thoughts on food in science fiction Food in fantasy genres gets a fair amount of press. Some of it focuses on how impractical writers can be or even the perfect fantasy novel meal, and of course there’s lots of talk about how impractical stew is (I’ve written this one myself ). George R. R. […]

Categories
On writing

What your characters eat on their epic journey in your novel

I love reading about the practicalities in writing fantasy, like how far horses can really travel in a day. Gillian Polack has done a similar thing with food in her guest blog Food is Just Fantasy Without Substance over at Voyager Online. Gillian talks about carrying pots and pans, and what travellers might eat along […]