Story, not premise: 2000AD writing guidelines

These are great writing tips, applicable – with a bit of adaptation- to any medium. Future Shocks are self-contained, four page science-fiction short stories with a twist ending. That means you only have four pages to establish your situation and protagonist, develop the situation through dramatic conflict, and then resolve it with an unexpected twist ending. “Dramatic conflict” doesn’t just mean…

Not long ago, or Little by little (3): scarcity and subsistence in rural Suffolk

[For those who came in late… Start with Not long ago, or Little by little (1)] Not long ago, in a place not far away and directly connected to you, something like this was happening… A village in Suffolk [in the east of England], circa 1900: There were seven children at home and father’s wages had been reduced to 10…

Not long ago, or Little by little (2): Indoor plumbing

[Not long ago, or Little by little (1)] Not long ago, in a place not far away and directly connected to you, something like this was happening, little by little: It’s the Chinese city of Kunming in 1980: Li Kunwa and Phillipe Ôtié’s A Chinese Life is an amazing memoir – a lens into sixty years of struggle and upheaval…

Not long ago, or Little by little (1)

Not long ago, in a place not far away and directly connected to you, something like this was happening, little by little: It’s London in 1930. Ethel has left her work as a lady’s maid; Ernest is a milkman. Raymond Briggs’ Ethel and Ernest is a brilliant book – very funny, very poignant. I share it here as an example…

Stan Lee (1922-2018) – What If?

Stan Lee was brilliant and prolific. We know him for Spiderman, the X-men, the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, Black Panther… for being the driving force behind Marvel Comics, now a multi-billion dollar, multi-media juggernaut. It’s less well known that he started in the comics industry in 1939, aged seventeen, as a general dogsbody, lunch-fetcher and inkwell filler at Timely Comics…

Education for the future: foundations (4)

This post was lost in the Crocapocalypse – I’m reposting it with its original date. The machine does not isolate man from the great problems of nature but plunges him more deeply into them. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, with a hat-tip to the writers of The Second Machine Age . Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, with a hat-tip to the writers of The Second Machine Age Teacher…