Tradition and the Individual Fantasist

I was going to extend my writing for middle grades series with this, but the point is a general one. The prompt did come from my recent MG novel though, and took the form of a snarky review which suggested the story was unoriginal because it was about a boy at school, his two friends, some bullies and a parallel world.

Have these ideas been used in children’s fiction before? Sure. Have they been used the way I’m using them in Darwen? No.

I’m not going to go through the ways my book is different from Harry Potter or the Narnia books or whatever because we’d be here all day and such a defense would rather miss the point.

So let’s think about originality for a moment.

As we have said before at MW, there’s something slightly disingenuous about all those agents and editors and movie producers who are always […]

Continue reading Tradition and the Individual Fantasist

The Next Big Thing

“Everybody’s talkin’ bout the new way of walkin’ Do you want to lose your mind?”

The lyrics above are part of “Walk Right In,” first recorded, apparently, by Gus Cannon and The Jug Stompers in 1929. Yes, I’m just that old. Okay, seriously now, when I sat down to write this article, that was the song going through my head. The reason is that everyone is always talking about the next big thing, but the problem is that by the time it’s been identified, it’s not really new anymore. It’s too late to lead the pack, though maybe not too late to get swept along in it.

The fact is this, in life or in fiction…you want to be a leader, not a follower. Sure, there are some genres that are struggling right now more than others, and knowing that you might decide to work on your fantasy novel rather […]

Continue reading The Next Big Thing