Looking Ahead to 2014 (And a Retrospective)

With NaNoWriMo gone and 2014 on the horizon, I now feel that Fantasy In Motion could do with a little ‘stamina potion’, just to get the juices pumping again. Articles have been few and far between these past months and for that I apologise. I could probably try to lay the blame on a variety of things, but you’re not interested in the whys and whats (and neither am I – those whys and whats are so boring!)

If I had to sum up my contributions to this blog during 2013 in one word, it would have to be ‘casual’. Like someone dipping back into World of Warcraft during a year of AAA console releases, I was only writing articles when I could be bothered, although I did also manage a nice little blog redesign.

Now, it may sound like I’m being overly hard on myself here, but I’m just being as honest as I can. One of the other reasons why articles have been scarce is likely due to a minor identity crisis. I’ve always been torn between:

  1. Blogging exclusively about writing and the fantasy genre.
  2. Taking a more ‘geek culture’ approach and commenting on gaming, movies, comics etc.

Some of you may remember Fantasy Bastion, my attempt to further travel down the second path. It was fun for a while, but ultimately an imitation of such greats as Fantasy Faction, SFF World and SFX. I returned to Fantasy In Motion with a renewed passion to blog about what I really love: fantasy. Fantasy stories, fantasy worlds, fantasy culture. The fantasy community. Fantasy.

So now we’re heading rapidly towards 2014 and it falls on me to set out exactly what this blog is about. Since its inception, FIM has always done a few things well:

  • Author Interviews
  • Writing Discussion/Writing 101
  • Wittily-Named Features (‘And Don’t Call Me Shirley’, ‘Writing Like a Sniper’, ‘You’re Not Schizophrenic, Am I?’)

And don’t you tell me those article names weren’t comedy gold!

The point is, these are the things I have enjoyed doing and the things I believe I have done well. But there is still room for improvement, still room for more.

One thing I really want to bring back to the blog is that personal touch. Obviously, I write all of the content for FIM, but I don’t often talk frankly about the SFF genre, about books, about authors and about publishers. I want to start giving you my no-holds-barred, honest opinion on fantasy. Blogging, at its best, bypasses all the crap and stodge and strikes a chord with the reader, striking right at the heart of whatever their passion is. That is what I aim to do.

The other thing is that I’ve never been good at long-running series’ (my attention span can be pretty short), but I love the idea of having a few good quality series’ on the blog – something you guys can really enjoy reading on a regular basis. In the past, I’ve told myself that I don’t have the time to commit to regular, even monthly, articles. But the truth is, I do. Half an hour less playing Xbox of an evening and I can write a good article for this blog. It’s all about prioritising!

With that in mind, here are a handful of changes, both great and small, coming to the blog:

  1. That little strip of articles currently devoted to showcasing our author interviews? I’m re-purposing it to show a wider variety of articles, both new and old. I figure you all know by now that we have some great interviews in the archives, so you don’t need to be bashed over the head with it every time you visit. It’s time for a change.
  2. New Series: Elements of Fantasy – A new fortnightly series looking at the things that define fantasy. I’m rolling the idea behind the short-lived ‘Bestiary’ series into this too. I’m hoping to give you something really fleshed out and insightful in every episode (but don’t hold me to the ‘insightful’ part!)
  3. More of my personal opinions and my comments on the SFF genre.
  4. More of those one-off features that defined our first year.
  5. Another as-yet unnamed series. I have a few ideas floating around, so we’ll see what comes of them.
  6. An all-new mapmaking tutorial! I know I’ve been promising this for a while. It’s coming back next year.
  7. I love the idea of a YouTube channel, but it’s simply not feasible for me right now. However, I’d like to explore the possibility of a podcast. God knows I talk to myself about writing enough, so I’ll have to look into this one. Let me know if this is something you would listen to!

So that’s it! On top of all that, I hope to secure some more author interviews for you guys, as well as continuing to dispense pearls of wisdom on writing. Without sounding clichéd, Fantasy In Motion is for your entertainment, so I’d love to hear what you think about the blog and about these here changes. Drop a comment below, as always, and we’ll speak again soon!

Ú-bedin edhellen,
~ James

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