• The Story Behind the Book

    Just Another Week in Suburbia: The Passive Casper

    The best stories feature characters who take journeys. And that doesn’t necessarily mean geographical journeys, but intellectual, emotional, and spiritual journeys. The simplest example is Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit. While he does take a physical journey, it’s all about how his adventure shapes him, and who he becomes: he goes from a meek Hobbit to a bold, courageous leader – a Hobbit who would dare banter with a dragon and betray a friend to broker peace. I’d written other stories where characters took physical journeys, and their change is a byproduct of their experiences. But now I was interested primarily in focusing on the character’s growth. Part of this…

  • Life of the Mind

    No Doubt

    As a writer, there’s lots of stuff you’ll doubt. On that list will be doubts … if your story works if the structure is sound if the plot/content is coherent if the characters are compelling if the prose is engaging if anybody will like it if everybody (who likes it) is humouring you if you’re any good. There’s other stuff. But that’s a shortlist. You try to control as much of it as you can. You do this through revision, by getting opinions from alpha readers, and – most of all – by being honest with yourself. Doubt’s a good thing, though. Well, in some ways at least. It forces…

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