Tag Archive 'Juliet Marillier'

Judging Short Fiction

I earn my living writing longish stories – my historical fantasy novels for adults usually come in at around 150,000 words. Perhaps because I’ve always loved traditional storytelling, including myths, legends and sagas, I do tend to think big, and it sits most comfortably with me to write fiction in the long form. I write short stories, too, but I find them more of a challenge. Every element must be refined and polished, the key message of the story must [...]

Dealing with Setbacks

In these days of relentless self-promotion, we authors generally avoid sharing our bad news. Our posts and tweets, our websites and interviews emphasise the positive: a publishing deal, an interesting writers’ festival, a new creative partnership. Sometimes  we talk about fighting our way through adversity to achieve a goal. But only rarely do we feature the professional setbacks we experience along the way. The message we want to get across to our readers is that we’re doing just fine!

While I’ve [...]

Mentoring: Two-way Learning

Being a full-time writer means not only working every day on my novel, but also performing the multiplicity of tasks that go with the profession: book-keeping, research, editing, publicity and so on. As an established novelist, I also get asked to present workshops, participate in writers’ festivals, judge competitions and give talks in schools. The better known you become as a writer, the more such requests you receive. It’s rewarding not only financially (most of the above are paid gigs) [...]

Voice and Structure: A Planner’s Perspective

I’m currently working on a novel called Dreamer’s Wood, first installment in the Blackthorn & Grim series, and my deadline is getting uncomfortably close. Indeed, the story is so much in my head at present that I really had no choice but to write about it for this month’s post.

Dreamer’s Wood, a historical fantasy/mystery for adult readers, is designed around contrasts in voice. Three major characters–Blackthorn, the disillusioned healer; Grim, her taciturn sidekick; Oran, the dreamer prince–take turns narrating chapters [...]

Letting your characters go

I’ve checked the proofs of my new novel. The stack of pages is ready to bundle up and send back to my editor. I’ve had my last opportunity to make corrections, and I’ve made my final farewell to the characters – THE CALLER is the third and final book in the SHADOWFELL series. Seems like time for a celebratory glass of champagne, yes? But I don’t feel elated, I feel sad. Why is it so hard to say goodbye?

After seventeen novels, I [...]

When Characters Go Their Own Way

What’s this? Me, the arch-planner, admitting that my characters sometimes have a will of their own? I’ve always dismissed that idea as nonsense. Characters come from the mind of the writer, where else? The writer invents them, so they dance to her tune. She can make them do and think and say what she wants all the way through the story. Right?

I’ll get back to that soon. For now, let me fill you in on the current state of my [...]

Nine Good Gifts for the New Year

I’m not keen on New Year’s resolutions. It’s too easy for us to end up in a mire of guilt, weighed down by our failure to meet our own expectations. On the other hand, defined goals can help those of us who might otherwise become TV watching, junk food eating couch potatoes, with nothing more to show for 2013 than an empty file entitled First Draft and five extra kilos around the waistline.

This week, Facebook is chockers with people’s summaries [...]

A Dog’s-eye view

I had a concept in mind that had been nagging away at me for months, demanding to be crafted into a story. Two concepts, in fact, one about a cat and one about two dogs. Both seemed ideal for inclusion in my short fiction collection, Prickle Moon.

I made numerous attempts to write these stories, trying many different approaches to style and structure. That was unusual for me – I generally have a good intuitive feel for what will work. The [...]

Don’t Forget to Celebrate

A couple of days ago I caught myself trying to do five things at once:

bake scones for a family visit (English scones, the kind you eat with jam)
complete the fancy beading on a princess outfit for a teddy bear
sweep the floor, put away the washing, quickly toddler-proof my living area
write my monthly post for Writer Unboxed
watch Homeland

Am I a multi-tasking superwoman? No, just misguided. Without six hands and a couple of separately functioning brains, there was no way I could do it. [...]

Learning from Old Favourites

So you need to write. And you love to read. How do you find time for both? Some people don’t read for pleasure at all while engrossed in a writing project (such self-discipline!) Some limit what they read, steering clear of their own genre – a writer of historical romance might read true crime; an epic fantasy writer might go for biography. There are a couple of reasons for that: not wanting someone else’s style or ideas to rub off [...]

Take 5: Shadowfell, by Juliet Marillier

Kath here. Well, she’s done it again. Fantasy author extraordinaire, and valued WU contributor Juliet Marillier’s next book, SHADOWFELL, is the first book in what is sure to become another bestselling series for young adult readers. It releases today with huge buzz, and terrific reviews.

Tough-to-please Kirkus writes:

Marillier’s deep knowledge of folklore and the early-medieval period shine through, but never overwhelm, her latest. In Alban, the Good Folk (widely varied, magical creatures) have occasionally intermingled with humans, and as a result, some humans [...]

Once Upon a Time

 

Here in Australia, season one of the ABC fantasy-drama series Once Upon a Time recently came to an end. The series concept is this: in the magical world of fairy tales, the evil queen lays a curse that transports everyone to Storybrooke, Maine. The evil queen does this to punish Snow White who, as a child, did something that blighted the queen’s future. In Storybrooke, Snow is mild-mannered teacher Mary Margaret. Also in town are Prince Charming, Red Riding Hood, [...]