Articles, Blog

Worldbuilding 2.0: Bridging Gaps With Historical Fiction

writing historical fiction blog post messina sicily

Past, future and wistful dreams seem to have little in common, but when it comes to writing fiction, these peas fit snugly in the same pod. So what does historical fiction have in common with sci-fi and fantasy?

Indeed, many an epic fantasy saga has been set in a twin of medieval Europe, but despite the opening credits of Star Wars starting with ‘long ago’, this space opera doesn’t qualify for the ‘historical’ genre label.

So where do these worlds meet? Exactly there: the worlds in which the stories are set.

Articles, Blog

Why You Can’t Kill Dragons (And Don’t Need To)

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to get rid of all obstacles in your life? Just imagine how much easier you could obtain your goals – money, power, love, success, self-actualisation – if only you could kill the dragons that stood in your way.

Your cannot kill dragons
Source: HBO, Game of Thrones

But life is never that easy, is it? Still, there is hope. For those who dare, anyway.

Let’s say your goal is a treasure chest. To get to it, you must surmount obstacles. No path is ever straight forward, and your path to the treasure leads into a deep, dark cave. And in that cave dwells a living, breathing dragon.

Now you have two options.

Articles, Blog

Ghosts of The Ypres Salient

gassed sargent ghosts ypres salient

On November 11th of this year, a full century has passed since the Great War came to an end. The war that left a ravaged continent in the wake of millions of casualties. On the Western Front, names like the Somme, Verdun and the Ypres Salient have become synonymous to unprecedented loss of life.

After all that time, are there still soldiers on these battlefields? Not so long ago, many of them still walked the fields of Flanders and France. But since then, memories have become history. As their old haunts (literally) vanish and life goes on, many ghosts have disappeared. Many, but not all…

Whenever you visit the Belgian town of Ypres, keep an eye out for signs of people hanging about a lot longer than most tourists.

Articles, Blog

5 Painful Truths About Mercedes’ Paris

5 painful paris truths

Setting a story in history requires tons of research. It’s one of the reasons I love writing historical fiction. While writing The Devourer, I dug up numberous dark details that didn’t make it into the story, but some of them are too delightful not to share.

The year is 1858, and in Paris…

…drinking tea is a capital crime.

Articles, Blog

Savouring The Tears In The Writer

tears in the writer source: claudia dea
Photo: Claudia Dea @Flickr

“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.”

― Robert Frost

This famous quote has pushed many an aspiring writer to improve their work. It is a perennial piece of writing advice, simply because it’s true: you can’t impart on others what you don’t feel yourself. Even a liar must be convinced of his own lie if he is to persuade others to believe it. And what are fiction writers but professional liars?

A convincing story is delightful because it feels real. But that conviction comes at a price – for both the writer and the reader.