A quick guide to naming your fantasy characters

I come across a lot of posts on social media asking about naming characters, particularly in the fantasy genre. How different should they be to real world names? Should I throw an apostrophe in the middle to make it sound more fantasyish? With NaNoWriMo kicking off tomorrow you don’t want to be wasting time thinking of names. So here’s a quick guide to help you out.

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Music and Writing

A few posts ago I included a bit about listening to music while writing. I’m a lover of peace and quiet, but a few people came back to me with recommendations and since then I've experimented. Be it the grand classical music of Lord of the Rings, psychedelic jams or funky Latin rock, I've discovered a particular tune can really spur me on and help clock up all-important words.

Exciting news!

Today is turning out to be a busy day. Over at r/Fantasy I'm in the firing line for Writer of the Day where you can ask me anything you like. Click here here to check it out. We're kicking things off about 1pm GMT. And I'm very excited to announce that Ducks is now available… Continue reading Exciting news!

A few tips to help you own NaNoWriMo

We’re just a week away from NaNoWriMo and the excitement is building. Here's a few of the best tips to help you prepare to crush that 50k word target.

Writer’s Resources: List of fantasy publishers (short fiction)

It's a stormy Monday, but I have something to banish the clouds. I'm delighted to announce the creation of my Writer's Resources page. Here I'll be adding any bits of info to help you on your quest, and I could think of no better way to kick things off than with a table of fantasy publishers (short fiction).

7 tips to help with editing

It’s Thursday. How about a little blast from the recent past? #tbt


If you’d like more writing tips you can get my eBook, This Craft We Call Writing: Volume One, for free by completing the form below. Inside you’ll find over 150 pages covering everything from dialogue, characterisation, prose and plotting, to world-building, writing fight scenes and viewpoint.

Richie Billing

If you’d like more writing tips you can get my eBook, This Craft We Call Writing: Volume One, for free by completing the form below. Inside you’ll find over 150 pages covering everything from dialogue, characterisation, prose and plotting, to world-building, writing fight scenes and viewpoint.


For some writers editing is the most loathsome part of the process. For others it’s their favourite. Yet undoubtedly it’s the most important, and given the rise in popularity of self-publishing, it’s more crucial than ever to know how to edit your work.

Entire books have been written on editing—I’ve listed a few you could stick your nose into at the end—but this week we’ll look at just a few of the best tips to help you with the editing process.

To write is human, to edit is divine.”

Stephen King

1. Put it away

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You’ve just finished your first draft…

View original post 1,775 more words

The Trusty Steed

There’s always a horse in a fantasy book. So I decided to do a bit of research on the trusty steeds that carry us fearlessly into battle, and this is what I found.

Procrastination: Duelling with the Devil

Procrastination has been so widely discussed in the writing community I know it's not just me that suffers from this curse. Countless hours lost to daydreaming, scrolling through mundanity on the web, reading news articles on subjects I've never once shown an interest in. Sometimes I sit there ready to go and a thought pops into my mind. I've not cleaned those fish tanks in a few weeks. Another forty minutes goes by. Think of all the words that could have been written?

Just shy of our fundraising target: an update on The General

The General & The Visitor, two short stories written by myself and good friend Mark Brooks, has been on sale for two weeks. All proceeds are donated to Ranelagh House, a care home in my hometown of Liverpool. And we're so close to hitting our initial fundraising target of £100!

What the hell is NaNoWriMo?

I’ve seen this acronym all over the place lately. It sounds like a daemon H.P. Lovecraft forgot to make. Then I read a very helpful post by mylifewithbooksblog and all became clear.