Interviews from the Void: Episode #23 – Benjamin Hope

Highlights Performing research to finding the balance between mood, theme, and story. Upholding our writing craft and storytelling methods in the modern world. Deciding on point-of-view (POV) and striking a balance between the character arcs. That’s what’s wonderful about storytelling – there are no boundaries! Welcome to the twenty-third episode of Interviews from the Void, where I interview writers about their writing process, discussing the mechanics and physicality of the craft. In this episode, I chat with writer Benjamin Hope about his approach to writing and his new book, THE PROCUREMENT OF SOULS. Arthur: There are many ways we can identify genre in writing based on the words we use. For example, science fiction might include things like spaceships, planets, warp drives, and protomolecules. Fantasy might include warlocks, alchemy, wyverns and scabbards. You’ve chosen steampunk for PROCUREMENT OF SOULS. How were you able to write the imagery so well to illustrate the steampunk atmosphere and what drew you to write steampunk as opposed to other fiction sub-genres? Benjamin: In terms of developing imagery for the reader, I tried to strike a balance between providing enough detail for the world to be imagined with clarity; and giving space for the reader to co-create the world as they read. I tend to think that overly descriptive passages have a tendency to turn off a reader’s interest, especially in this sort of genre. As such, although I am partial to a metaphor(!) and enjoy the poetry of language, I did a lot of research[…] [Keep Reading]

Interviews from the Void: Episode #18 – Bill Ricardi

Highlights Developing maps and world building for fantasy stories. The importance of a book’s first line and how it is a promise to the reader of what’s to come. Our writing space and setting rules to free ourselves from distraction. I’m a proponent of the short, sharp paragraph. Welcome to the eighteenth episode of Interviews from the Void, where I interview writers about their writing process, discussing the mechanics and physicality of the craft. In this episode, I chat with fantasy writer Bill Ricardi about focus and the importance of writing a books’ first sentences. Arthur: I always love a book that starts out with a map. In ANOTHER STUPID SPELL, how did you develop Panos? How much world-building did you do before (or during) the writing of the book? Bill: Panos had about a month of backstory work before I wrote a single word that appears in the actual book. I started with the major gods, since I knew that they would be pivotal to the story. Then the Orc nations, because that was going to be my character’s main focus. The magic system came next, which is a mix of Kabbalistic principles and gaming tropes. Then the rest of the races, which in turn determined the landscape, the politics, and everything else. Arthur: The first line of ANOTHER STUPID SPELL is: “Me smart orc.” You had me right there. There’s a lot of writing theory about developing a great first line of a book, even beyond that to first[…] [Keep Reading]

Interviews from the Void: Episode 14 – Manuel Arbanassi

Highlights How characters are the principle part of moving the story along. It’s more important to tell the story you want to tell than trying to cater to a specific audience. Writing with English as a second language. I’ve always been very interested in the characters – I think they are the principle part of the story, since they’re the ones moving it along. Welcome to the fourteenth episode of Interviews from the Void, where I interview writers about their writing process, discussing the mechanics and physicality of the craft. In this episode, I chat with urban and cyber fantasy writer Manuel Arbanassi about characterization and the importance of writing for yourself.  Arthur: Do you still live in Italy? What are the big genres selling well there? Is there much of a market for science fiction, horror or fantasy? Manuel: I do indeed still live in Italy, Monfalcone to be exact. It’s in the northeast. And when it comes to horror and fantasy, we tend mostly to get books from foreigner big names (for example Rowley, King, etc). We did have some names in our country as well, mostly in the high fantasy genre. Arthur: You have your website. Do you run it yourself? Manuel: Well, ‘running it’ is a bit of a strong word, but I do try my best! A friend of mine convinced to start a blog. I had another site before, but honestly it was poorly planned, and the fact that it was more of a ‘site’[…] [Keep Reading]