• Life of the Mind

    Midnight’s Dawning: An Opening

    In the very early 1990s, I wrote a fantasy epic entitled Midnight’s Dawning. Ever since, I’ve toyed with a word-one rewrite. Here’s the very first chapter roughly redrafted … * Arim bolted down the winding mountain trail, knowing that if he was late getting back he would be flogged – if not worse. Although he was only twelve, he was still a slave, which meant the Tybrans would discipline him if they saw fit.      The sun beat down on his head and his breath was ragged in his chest. It was only morning, but already scorching – although it was always hot in the morning. He slowed down as…

  • 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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