Update 15/12/2014

Another week gone and another chapter edited - Chapter Twenty-Three, to be precise. Work is also well underway on the next one. We're well and truly into the climax now, and if you'll forgive me for saying so it's all getting rather exciting.

There's something I'd like to share with you, by a gentleman called Matt Gemmell. He was once a software engineer but recently gave that up to be a writer. I've been following his blog for a while now and it's invariably brilliant, whatever he decides to write about on any given day.

I've been meaning to point you in his direction for a while now, but a post from last week gives me a convenient excuse. It's the best answer to the old question of 'how do you get your ideas?' that I've ever come across, and I'd endorse it wholeheartedly.

Another post of his that rang particularly true for me is this one from August, entitled Genre Shame, in which he deals with the sense in which the adventure thriller he is writing is somehow less worthy than literary works.

It's a feeling I know well. Now, I'm the first to argue that science fiction/fantasy settings allow one to offer new perspectives on the kind of questions that literature seeks to answer, and indeed to ask new questions that might not otherwise have occurred to the reader or writer. Both classic and modern sci-fi have done as much to explore the human condition as any other type of work. (Not that I'm presuming to claim any such importance for my own writing, but you know what I mean.) But still, there's always that moment of slight dread when someone asks 'what's your book about?' - 'oh, it's just a fantasy adventure'.

I don't honestly think fantasy deserves that 'just', but there's a definite perception of it in popular imagination. Rightly or wrongly, I always wonder if the person I'm explaining it to will be a bit disappointed that I haven't written something more respectable. Gemmell doesn't have the answer, but it's good to see someone openly talking about it.

Anyway, the whole blog is worth a read (or, you could buy his book of collected writings). It's by no means all about writing, and you'll certainly find something that strikes a chord.