One of the best ways to escape is with a good book. Image via Pixabay.


Tonight’s theme is asking questions – lots of them!


In Questions to Ask When World Building, I share some useful pointers that should be considered when planning out a new world.  (This is one of the lovely things about fantasy and science fiction – we create our own worlds!  Horror and crime are based generally on what we already know but with fantasy and science fiction, the possibilities are endless).  I look at how the world is governed, what rights do people have and how wide a variety of peoples are on the world you’ve created amongst other topics.


Putting Yourself on the Spot shares three questions I think every writer should regularly ask of themselves.  I look at why am I writing this, am I writing this in the right way and can I do what I am doing better?  The answer to the last question is inevitably yes!  The middle question is really about whether you’ve chosen the right format for your story.  For example some of what I write is punchy so flash fiction is generally the best vehicle for that.  Others are more thoughtful piece so a standard length short story (1500 to 2000 words) is usually better.  And the first question reminds you why you were enthuasistic about the idea in the first place, which is no bad thing to be reminded of especially if you’re feeling bogged down.


I discuss my current Kindle read – Westminster Bones, which is a fairly scathing look into whether the bones in the urn in Westminster Abbey are really those of the Princes in the Tower.  Let’s just say I wouldn’t put a bet on at the bookmakers after reading this book!  But it is a very good read, the arguments are well set out and I must admit I would like to see some proper DNA testing done.

Books really are the gatekeepers BUT they can also be investigators as Westminster Bones clearly is. Image via Pixabay.

Books really are the gatekeepers BUT they can also be investigators – for example  Westminster Bones is trying to establish truth . Image via Pixabay.




As ever, a title that says it all!  I share some tips I have found useful when it comes to world building.  In Fairytale World Building, I discuss how reading widely (including non-fiction) is so useful for sparking ideas and helping you to make your created world more realistic.  It is the great irony in fiction that our stories have to “seem real” even though they are completely made up, but to have any resonance with readers, they have got to seem plausible if say the world is magical or what have you.  The reader has got to feel “yes, it could be like that”.  Anyway, I hope the tips here are of help, they have been to me.


What Drives Characters follows on from a recent post on motivations.  Tonight’s post looks at what would make a character behave differently from the way they would usually.  In a crisis, is their inner cowardice or courage let loose?  When stubbornness drives them to finish something when they are not usually stubborn? What brought this trait out?  Commitment to an idea?  An extreme situation?  Food for thought here I hope.


I look at The Watercress Line, a Hampshire based steam railway, in tonight’s post.  There are lots of pictures including one of a totally politically incorrect sign, which always makes me laugh when I see it as I can’t imagine who would buy the product with the name it was given.  See the post, you’ll easily spot the picture in question and well, would you buy it?!  I also recommend Raising Steam by Terry Pratchett in this post as he spent a day on the Watercress Line researching this novel.  Strongly suspect this was a real labour of love!


Again I discuss my CFT post here.

My feature image for tonight's Chandler's Ford Today post. All images in this post were taken by me.

My feature image for tonight’s Chandler’s Ford Today post. All images in this post were taken by me.