Tag Archives: Terry Pratchett

In Praise of the Fantasy Genre

Over at fellow RORee Marianne de Pierres‘ blog I’ve written an article about the fantasy genre.

It’s a genre much maligned by the literary world, yet many literary books are fantastical in nature. As in all genres there’s a bell curve with a lot of stuff sitting in the middle, being neither remarkably good or really bad. Yet fantasy can be used to explore all sorts of interesting concepts. You only have to look at the work of Margo Lanagan to see how freeing it can be. And you only have to read a Terry Pratchett book to see how it can be used to satirise our world. For Terry Pratchett fans here’s link to TP Quotes.

Closing with a quote from the great TP himself:

‘The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.’



Filed under Fantasy books, Nourish the Writer, The World in all its Absurdity, The Writing Fraternity

Let’s hear it for Terry Pratchett!

I just read that Terry Pratchett has won a World Fantasy Lifetime Achievement award for outstanding service to the fantasy field. (His co-winners were Brian Lumley and Peter Straub).  Here’s the link.

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Filed under creativity, Fantasy books, Fun Stuff, Genre, Nourish the Writer, The Writing Fraternity

Pratchett Insight

I came across a blog post on Pratchett’s books which says, much more eloquently, how I feel about his works. Here’s where you can find the full post.

‘Pratchett’s use of dwarfs, trolls, vampires and numerous other species as denizens of the Discworld epitomizes this. They started off as standard fantasy archetypes, reflecting the earlier Discworld novels’ genesis as a parody of fantasy cliché, but as the series progressed, they are developed into people, so that readers forget they have rocky hides for skin or fangs’

I love the way Pratchett uses the fantasy world to make us look at ourselves. Fantasy is the perfect medium for this. I did my Masters on Discrimination and Persecution in Fantasy Books. When you take a reader into an invented world and give them a character to identify with, they feel what the character feels (if you’ve engaged the reader).

So, I raise a glass of cyber champers to Terry. By the way that is an excellent cover.

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Filed under Covers, Fantasy books, Genre, Readers, The World in all its Absurdity

Yay for Terry Pratchett!

This is such a great Terry Pratchett cover.

I’ve always thought if I ever became really rich and famous from my writing, I’d like to set up a competition for new writers to help them break in. And this is what Terry Pratchett has done.

The Terry Pratchett Prize!

Sir Terry Pratchett and Transworld Publishers are proud to launch a new award for aspiring debut novelists, The Terry Pratchett Anywhere But Here, Anywhen But Now Prize. Transworld will offer the winning author a publishing contract with a £20,000 advance.
The award will be judged by Sir Terry Pratchett, Tony Robinson, Michael Rowley from Waterstone’s and two senior members of the editorial team at Transworld Publishers.

The deadline for submissions is 31 December 2010. For further details about the award, and full terms and conditions, please click on the link below

See the Terry Pratchett web site for full details.

I had the good fortune to share breakfast with Terry back in 1999 at the Melbourne World Con.  I’m a big fan of his books. My favourite character is Vimes, although I am very fond of Susan and Granny Weatherwax.

Whenever I run a writing fantasy workshop for teenagers, there will be some boy sitting up the back, making wisecracks. I’ll say to him, ‘I bet you read Terry Pratchett. He’s brilliant.’ And the kid’s eyes will light up – a grown-up who gets Terry Pratchett!

So I have a soft spot for Terry. How can you not like a guy who says:

‘I’ll be more enthusiastic about encouraging thinking outside the box when there’s evidence of any thinking going on inside it.’

For more Terry Pratchett quotes visit this site.

So here’s raising a cyber glass of bubbly to you, Terry. I sold my first book after entering a writing competition. (I didn’t win or place, or get an honourable mention). What I did get was annoyed enough to send the book off to a publisher. LOL.

Have you ever entered a writing competition?


Filed under Competitions, Genre, Nourish the Writer, Publishing Industry, Workshop/s

Indulgence Day!

Ok, I’ve worked hard all week. In fact, I’ve worked hard all term and it’s not over yet. Next week all the final assessments are due in, which means I’ll be doing marking for hours on end.

So this weekend I am treating myself, and my boys. We’re going to see the new Iron Man movie. What’s that? As soon as I say the words you can hear the music? Now that’s what I call Resonance. Black Sabbath’s ‘Paranoid’ which contained Iron Man was released in 1970. So I grew up with it. And it is still as powerful as it was then.

What else do you think of when I say Iron Man? This weekend with the second movie just released it has to be Robert Downey Jr’s portrayal of the Tony Stark character. Kudos must go to the script writers of the first movie, Markus Fergus, Hawk Ostby, Art Marcum, Matt Holloway and John August. Of course, Downey did a great job with the role, but I think the script writers’ strike proved that without writers you don’t have a TV show or a movie.

So what we’ll do is watch the first movie tonight, to refresh ourselves, then see the second movie tomorrow. I’ll be looking for stylistic consistency. And I’ll be looking to see how they develop Tony Stark’s character.

A lot can be learnt from movies and TV shows. Everything, character, world building, plot clues and tension all have to be established fast. And then there is Resonance, the feel you associate with a movie or TV series. There is also Resonance associated with books and book series. And if you don’t think that books carry Resonanace, what do you feel when I say Terry Pratchett’s Disk World series? Totally different from China Mieville’s Perdido Street Station. What about Mervyn Peake’s Ghormenghast? It’s been thirty years since I read that and yet, I still have a strong sense of place and character.

Maybe I’ll do a post on Resonance. I find it really interesting. What books and characters stick with you over time?

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Filed under Characterisation, Fun Stuff, Nourish the Writer, Resonance, Writing craft