Genre Snobbery

May 12, 2017
Is there anything worse than getting a critique from a competition judge who didn't like your story? Mostly, I appreciate feedback, even if I don't agree with it, because it makes me look at my work with fresh eyes, and maybe consider things that hadn't occurred to me before. However, I once had my entry to what purported to be an open competition with no theme or restrictions on style or subject, returned with the comment that "I used to like fantasy stories in my teens, but then I decided that I wanted to say something." When I read it, I'm sure all those clichés about being purple with anger, seeing red and having steam coming out of my ears applied.
    It wasn't that the judge had rubbished my story that made me choke, it was the fact that he'd rubbished a whole genre. Lots of people are sniffy about genre writing, particularly science fiction, fantasy and romance. They claim it's shallow and has no literary worth, by which I suppose they mean that it's badly written. What rot! Of course, there are 'bad' fantasy and romance stories, but you don't have to look far to find poorly written mainstream or literary work. Who could possibly claim that Marge Piercy's science fiction novel, Body of Glass or Peter Beagle's fantasy, A Fine and Private Place aren't beautifully written and relevant, or don't contain as many truths as William Shakespeare? And while I'm mentioning the Bard, two of the greatest plays ever written are his fantasy, The Tempest, and his romance, Romeo and Juliet.
    People who turn their noses up at writing simply because it is in a popular genre, without giving the story or the way it's written a chance, shouldn't judge competitions unless they make that prejudice known in the guidelines/rules. That way they'll save everyone's time–and writers spending money on entry fees when they don't stand a chance of winning.
 

Tomorrow Came Early

May 5, 2017
They say tomorrow never comes, but they forgot to tell the scientists who have just developed a way to do something in real life that I had as a central discovery in a story I recently finished set in the near future. That'll teach me not to procrastinate! To be fair to myself the length of time it took me to get from the original idea to the finished story was due more to making several false starts than slacking off. After a lot of trial and error, I finally came up with an experiment that ...
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Keep On Keeping On

April 10, 2017
It took a couple of days longer than I'd planned, but Discord's Child and Discord's Apprentice were finally unleashed as paperbacks from CreateSpace and Amazon last Monday (3rd April). There was a last minute hitch–the discovery that moving one little hyphen had had a knock-on effect throughout a whole chapter. I could have left it, I've seen other novels with words hyphenated across pages, but once I'd spotted it, I would never have been happy knowing it was there. Anyway, the paperbacks a...
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Heading West

March 31, 2017
With the print publication of Discord's Child and Discord's Apprentice with CreateSpace due on April Fool's Day, I've been getting really fidgetty. Reading always helps me to relax, so I treated myself to Third Flatiron Anthology's Principia Ponderosa.
    I love Westerns. I was raised on them. In fact, I can't read the word Ponderosa without hearing the Bonanza theme tune. Regular readers of this blog might have noticed that I also love SF and Fantasy. Purists might think that the genres shou...
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Taking Advantage

March 17, 2017
I'd like to say thank you to everyone who downloaded Discord's Child last week–I hope you enjoy it. Read an Ebook Week is now over, but The Exiles of Ondd novels are still available from Smashwords and Amazon. I'd also like to say thank you to all the other authors who took part in the event. I had great fun browsing through the fantasy titles that were discounted or free. My problem was how to choose from the hundreds that were available.
    Even ruling out the titles that are always free,...
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Discord's Child FREE for a week

March 5, 2017
It's Smashword's Read an Ebook week again until 11th March. I've enrolled Discord's Child in it, so all you need to do is visit http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/ksdearsley, click on the novel and use the code SFREE to download a copy for free. This is a really good opportunity to 'try before you buy' if you're unsure whether to get the next in the series, Discord's Apprentice, or to treat yourself to the paperback versions, which should be available from CreateSpace and Amazon from 1st ...
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Running Late

February 27, 2017
My blogging schedule has gone out of the window once again. My apologies. I have a really bad habit of seriously underestimating how long it takes me to do things, especially if they involve a computer. A big tip to anyone involved in writing or publishing is to work out how long you think you'll need to do something, double it and then add at least a fortnight! I'm hoping I'm back on track now, but as soon as I finish keying this in, I'm going to recross my fingers. It hasn't helped that I'v...
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To Have and to Hold

February 5, 2017
Wow! The proofs of Discords' Child and Discord's Apprentice have arrived early. They're looking good, although I do say it myself. I've yet to go through them with my nit-picking comb, but all being well, they should be on sale from Amazon and Create Space by Easter, so you'll have something to read while you're scoffing your Easter eggs. Once I know everything's okay and I have a firm date, the details will be on here straight away. I want to offer some introductory deals, so watch this spac...
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One Step Closer

January 30, 2017
I've finally done it–I've clicked on 'order proof' and am now nervously awaiting the arrival of print copies of Discord's Child and Discord's Apprentice.
    The process so far has been relatively painless. I used my files for the Kindle copies and pasted them onto Create Space's template. With print there are extra things to think about concerning the layout, fonts and sizes etc., but at least the manuscript should be free of typos and grammatical errors (I hope!). I also adapted the digita...
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Classic Examples

January 23, 2017
Reading classic novels to improve your writing might be useful, but it does have pitfalls. The bestsellers of yesteryear might have stood the test of time, but that doesn't mean they aren't dated.
    In the mid-19th century, the narrator often broke off from telling the story for a long passage of moralising or description, which probably wouldn't go down well in a contemporary work. They mention public figures who were once famous, and occupations or household items that were commonplace bu...
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About Me


My writing career began as a freelance feature writer for the local press, businesses and organisations. Now a prize-winning playwright and short story writer, my work has appeared in numerous publications on both sides of the Atlantic. I write as K. S. Dearsley because it saves having to keep repeating my forename, and specialise in fantasy and other speculative genres.
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