Monthly Archives: September 2011

Progress of The West Queen

As you know, I’m writing an epic fantasy masterwork called The West Queen. Masterwork might be a little of a stretch so let’s just call it an epic fantasy novel series shall we? I’m on my final edit. I call it my final edit to stop me from entering another round of revisions. Where am I up to, how much further to go and what happens at the end of this “final” edit?

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Is Piracy a Bad Thing?

Obviously, high seas robbery is bad. It threatens life and deprives people of their property, but is copyright infringement a bad thing? There are those that claim piracy helps an artist because it exposes people to their work who would otherwise not have been. There are others (or the same people) who say they wouldn’t have bothered to look at the work if they had to pay for it, or pay retail. There are people on the other side of the fence who claim piracy costs the world economy more money than exists and there are artists who say their careers are ruined because of piracy. Can any of that make sense?

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Plot elements Part 2: Magic

Arthur C. Clarke once said: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”  So last week I wrote about aliens and included not just actual aliens, but any science fiction, fantasy or historical view on aliens.  Today I’m discussing magic or technology indistinguishable from it.  To do it well, or at least adequately, you need to follow some rules so as not to lose your readers.

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Themes and plot elements part 1 – Aliens

For the next couple of weeks I’m going to go over some basic plot elements and themes common to a lot of fantasy and science fiction.  In particular I’m going to bitch about what is over done or nonsensical.  It is worth the effort to figure out some of the finer details of your plot elements.  Much like you want your characters to have believable motivation and reasonable reactions, you want your basic plot to make sense.  If you don’t do the research and fill in the little things you risk losing your readers to the great WTF?
Alien Invasion
A theme followed in many novels, science fiction, fantasy and otherwise, is that of an alien invasion. I’m not talking about aliens purely in the “from outer space” variety, but in the more general “from somewhere else” flavour. The obvious place for this is science fiction, but historically there have been any number of alien invasions including the Spanish in South / Central America, the English in Australia, the French in Vietnam and so on. There are two basic things you need to cover off, even if they don’t make it into your story; who are the aliens and why are they invading?

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