Thursday, 23 January 2014

Restrictive practices

 Every year Warhammer hold a convention in Nottingham, England and last year I almost went. One of the reasons for my not attending is that the event was held in November and I was unsure how my tendon would feel having to walk the mile to and from the convention on a cold night. However, the post isn't about my misfortunes. 

Had I gone there were a number of questions I would have asked, from the view of a fellow writer.
What is it like to have to write within a set series of known boundaries?

My writing is limited by what I feel capable of writing and I set no boundaries, other than my imagination, which at times can get far out. Especially when I get involved in a story as I did with Chronicles and the Pat Canella series.

How do you feel about having to write within these boundaries?
This is a double-edged question, as it asks about the writing style and your personal opinion on the matter.
As a writer:- I would find it very hard to continue to write within set boundaries for any length of time, like genre-writers you can only write within the field for so long, before the field wears out and you come to a dead end.

As a personal view :- I think having to write within a set series of known boundaries is very restrictive and would probably do me or my writing no good. 

At the end of the day, you make your own choices and these writers have made a vast number of book sales writing within the boundaries, so, I guess it does work for some.

When I started out, one of my goals was to have a story published in 'Hammer and Bolter' which is Warhammer's monthly on line book but over time I came to realise both the futility of the dream and the restrictions on my writing that writing within the boundaries would impose.


  1. Can you be more specific about what specific "boundaries" you are talking about?

    1. In this case certain weapons and armour for the soldiers to use, the defined actions of the weapons and damage created. In more general terms I would say writing within time frames and with required practices such as dress and moral codes, which a lot of writers forget about.

      I got pulled up about one book I wrote by a German site because I was told that certain actions would not have taken place in the modern world, what they forgot was my story was set in 1940's USA and the modern codes didn't apply.

      The great joy was I was brought to point by a lady editor on the site, who had lived in the USA since the late 1970's and never realised what PI stood for. Coming from England she thought I meant Police Inspector, when most US readers would assume I meant Private Investigator.