Posts

Showing posts from June, 2020

Packing for summer Camp (NaNo)! Now, where's that house-elf?

Image
Hello again! As we approach the month of July, I will be using the next five days to prepare for one of my favourite writing challenges of the year: Camp NaNoWriMo!  My research and reading progress on becoming a fantasy expert will continue in August. If you are unfamiliar with Camp NaNoWriMo, its parent challenge, NaNoWriMo ,  stands for National Novel Writing Month. It is a virtual yearly challenge set in November in which participants attempt to write 50,000 words (the minimum word count for a novel) within the month. The Camps, set in April and July, are both virtual and last a month too. The Camps allow participating writers to choose their own word count goal to achieve during the challenge as well.  The NaNoWriMo website also acts as an online writing community for all members. They have even recently made their challenge features (timed sessions, word count tracker, progress chart, etc.) available all year round for your writing projects outside of the challenge months. Best o

Fantasy: Greatest Hits!

Image
Hello! Researching into the history of the genre in my previous post inspired me to explore which books the fantasy community considers the most influential and inspiring since the beginning. In other words, which fantasy titles are our classics; our greatest hits. My research yielded an extensive list which you can read in full on  the page titled  Greatest Hits  at the top of this blog. While compiling this list of greatest hits, I noticed some elements that I found intriguing. For example, some eras in history have produced more classics than others and there are some authors who have more than one mention. These are just two observations (out of a good few) that I would like to explore. Therefore, I will be posting a number of explorations into these on the blog in the future. I also have plans to read most, if not all, of these books over the course of this journey and will discuss them in detail for you in future posts.  If you have read any of these books yourself, and would lik

Fantasy: History 101!

Image
Hey, there! The next step in my journey was to research into the history of the fantasy genre. After all, it is in learning about the past of our craft that we are able to appreciate it and shape it into our own.  Fantasy is one of the longest standing genres of story-telling to exist in human history; going as far back as mythical creatures in ancient cave drawings.  The genre has always been a way for people throughout history to explain things which, at the time, seem inexplicable. Such as associating the weather and seasons with gods/goddesses, blaming monsters for noises or uncertainties that occur in the dark, and believing in miracles or mystical intervention when seemingly impossible circumstances or accidents happen.  It fuels our dreams and forges our imagination almost collectively. There have been several examples of cultures, spanning many countries apart, sharing fantastical ideologies and beliefs. For example: fairy tales across the world share the same format and purpos

So many books on my shelves ... but how many are fantasy?!

Image
Howdy! I was curious to see what percentage of my bookcases are currently comprised of fantasy books.  So, I thought I would share my current fantasy collection - which I definitely have plans to expand - with you. My Current Fantasy Collection The Best British Fantasy 2014 - ed. Steve Haynes Terry pratchett: A Blink of the Screen The Stake - Richard Laymond The Circus of Adventure - Enid Blyton Tales from the Ark - Avril Rowlands Timothy Whuffenpuffen-Whippersnapper - Sally Odgers The Spiderwick Chronicles series (Books 1 to 5 along with   Arthur Spiderwick's Field Guide to the Fantastical World Around You ) - Holly Black and Tony Diterlizzi My Secret Unicorn series (Books 1 to 7) - Linda Chapman The Word for World is Forest - Ursula K. Le Guin The Whitby Witches - Robin Jarvis The House at Pooh Corner - A.A. Milne                  The Four Seasons of Brambley Hedge - Jill Barklem Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll  My Friend Walter - Michael Morpurgo 

The birth of the journal ... let's hope it's beautiful!

Image
Hello, today! So in this post I wanted to talk a little more about this journal/blog itself. I knew that I wanted to follow the advice I had from my research to do a journal/blog about this journey, but I didn’t fully create it until the fourth day into all of this. In my introductory post I explained what this project is and why I am doing it but now I want to discuss just what this journal was all about. This blog will document my ‘Becoming an Expert’ in fantasy journey. I hope that you will join me and follow this blog as I pursue my two dreams: become a published, full time (or even part time given this economy) novelist and to become an expert in the fantasy genre (specialising in literature). Not only will I be discussing my progress and my process here but I will also talk about other projects, such as: my novels, publications, writing challenges and competitions I take part in. However, this kind of endeavour cannot progress or develop by someone on their own. Many people under

Fantasy genres and subgenres ... wait, there's how many?!

Image
Hello again! I must say it was definitely an eye-opening experience for me researching the extensive list of fantasy genres and subgenres of today. There were so many!  It wasn't really until  I started my English Literature classes in secondary school and college that I truly became aware of genres and themes. This discovery was fundamental to my education as both a reader and a writer. English Literature quickly became one of the few academic subjects that I hold close to my heart alongside English Language and History. Looking back, I was reading books from a multitude of subgenres without even realising it, including: Anthropomorphic Fantasy Arthurian Fantasy Assassin Fantasy Children Fantasy Coming-of-Age Fantasy Dragon Fantasy Epic Fantasy Fables/Fairytales Gaslamp Fantasy Gothic Fantasy Historical Fantasy Heroic Fantasy  Legends Medieval Fantasy Mythic Fantasy Portal Fantasy Quest Fantasy Series Fantasy Sword and Sorcery Fantasy Urban Fantasy Vampire Fantasy Young Adult Fant

What is an Expert? What to do and how to do it!

Image
Hello, there! Continuing on from my last post, I began my journey by researching what becoming an expert actually meant and how I would need to go about becoming one. Currently, searches for how to become an expert in fantasy  don't yield many results. Therefore, I will be using the generic how to become an expert  information that was available and apply this to my journey. Following my research, there appears to be a variety of ‘definitions’ for what an expert is: ‘The hallmark of expertise is figuring out what information is important’ ‘True mastery is not about doing difficult things, but about mastering the basics’ ‘Being an expert starts with a belief in yourself, not information or accreditation’ ‘Being an expert in something is usually the result of a deliberate effort over a more or less prolonged period of time to improve certain skills in a particular field’ ‘An expert is someone who has enough knowledge to help others confidently’ ‘Elite, peak, or exceptionally high lev

Nice to meet you! Welcome to my Journey ....

Image
Hey, there! Welcome to my blog Becoming an ‘Expert’: A Fantasy Writer’s Journey in which I will be journaling my progress in doing just that. First of all, introductions for those that don’t know me from my website, my name is A.S.Ford and I am a 26-year-old writer currently residing in a little town in Wiltshire. I have had a variety of short publications as well as an Undergraduate and MA degree in Creative Writing. For more about me, check out my website at  asford.co.uk . Now that’s out of the way, I can talk to you about this project that I am so excited to start! First, a little backstory, I have been writing since I was around the age of 5 and was inspired by all the books that my Mum used to read to me, such as:  The Adventures of the Magic Wishing Chair series and The Famous Five series both by Enid Blyton The House at Pooh Corner by A. A. Milne Brambley Hedge series by Jill Barklem Harry Potter series (the first book being released in 1997 when I was just 3 years old)