Write your book in just a week!

Most certainly NOT an anti-NaNoWriMo rant. Great read!

Chris Hill, Author

One trend in what I suppose you could call the ‘creative writing industry’ at the moment is encouraging people to write books really quickly.

473px-Usain_Bolt_Olympics_CelebrationI’ve come across writing ‘experts’ who run courses and so on claiming they can teach you to crash out a whole novel in a month or even less. It’s the Usain Bolt approach to novel writing.

For the record – Song of the Sea God took me two years to write, from which I’m sure you can glean that I’m in no great rush to type ‘The End.’ To me that doesn’t seem an extraordinary amount of time. The other two books I have completed have taken a similar period. It takes roughly a year to complete a first draft then another to rewrite and polish it until I believe I have something I wish to inflict on an indifferent world. After I have finished, I…

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Black Egyptians: The African Origins of Ancient Egypt

I love supporting my fantasy stories with historical context like this. Great research for me! Yay!


Black Egyptians

The false representation of Egypt

All Egyptologist’s would agree that Ancient Egypt was home to a highly advanced and civilized race. When the topic of ‘race’ is used to describe the Egyptians it is either conveniently left out, labelled insignificant or shown in the wrong image. When Ancient Egypt is shown in the media; such as movies, TV documentaries, and video games or in education; through books/articles and spoken about by everyday people and so-called scholars, the people are mostly depicted as Arab, Mediterranean or white. Just look at some examples of this in Picture 1.1. Now compare it with Picture 1.2, which shows evidence of a Black race in Ancient Egypt. There is a clear contrast in pictures; one of these has to be wrong!

What is said of the Egyptians in the academic world? The general view of the Ancient Egyptians being black by race is summed up…

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Chronicles of Harriet


Ask people to name Black authors of science fiction and fantasy and only a few names will be repeated, if any names are known at all: Octavia Butler…Tananarive Due…L. A. Banks…Walter Mosley. While, most certainly, these brilliant authors should be in everyone’s library, you are cheating yourself if you do not know of – or explore – the many other great Black authors of speculative fiction.

The Black presence and impact on the world of speculative fiction is a vast and powerful one. Some of these authors you may have heard of; some you may not have. Some will absolutely surprise you. All of them tell Blacknificent stories.

Let’s dive in and see just how deep this well of creativity is.

Charles W. Chesnutt (1858-1932)

Chesnutt published The Conjure Woman in 1899.  The book, a series of loosely associated…

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When villains aren’t evil

I enjoyed reading this and realized that the main Big Bad in my dark fantasy YA isn’t necessarily “evil”. Great post.

Guild Of Dreams

by Autumn Birt

Here on the Guild of Dreams, we’ve written about common fantasy tropes quite a few times. But I think one trope we haven’t covered yet is villains. Specifically, that villains are always evil, especially in the fantasy.

It is simply a fact of life. There are the heroes who must struggle against evil. Why?

Sure, I could get philosophical that we as a species are constantly searching for a way to simplify the problems faced every day. And nothing is simpler, or more validating, than good versus evil. So of course, stories are crafted to follow this formula. And it is a formula. One of the oldest.evil character

But there is so much more…

What makes a villain evil? That she/he will stop at nothing to achieve a goal? What if that goal is necessary to save the lives of friends or family? That is a lot less…

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Character Takeover: Meet Adara Trosclair!

     Well, first of all, I’ve got to say that your world is just as messed up as mine. While skimming the headlines on my creators computer screen, I just had to shake my head in disbelief, disgust, and dismay. Downed planes shot right of the sky? Terrorists abducting women and children? Wow. Whoa. No … Continue reading Character Takeover: Meet Adara Trosclair!

Murdering Your Darlings Is Not Enough

     According to Rob Parnell, (http://www.easywaytowrite.com/ArtMurder.html), “Murder your darlings” was a phrase first coined by Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch (or Fitzgerald or Faulkner or Nabakov or even Stephen King, depending on who you believe). I once saw this phrase in sticker form years ago on a fellow writer’s binder. She was a delightful young lady with … Continue reading Murdering Your Darlings Is Not Enough