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  • Writer's pictureG R Matthews

Question 6: Mark Lawrence

I have no idea, honestly, about who this Mark Lawrence fellow is. Apparently he is a best-selling fantasy author with such books as Prince of Thorns, Prince of Fools and the recently released Liar's Key.

Seriously, if you haven't read these then you really should start now (again, once you've finished mine that is) as they are fantastic!

[–]MarkLawrence/r/Fantasy Best of 2013 & 2014 Winner (+AMA Author)


Elucidate on the "incredibly brave!"

Is bravery a thing in writing? What thing is it?


Hi Mark,

You're referring to Sarah's review of The Stone Road I take it. In that regard, allow me to interpret her thoughts (and I'll apologise to her if I get it wrong);

'Incredibly brave' refers to the decision not to set the book in recognisable western setting. It isn't Vikings or Medieval Europe (nothing wrong with those, he says hastily to avoid the sharp end of a stabby or the blunt end of sales figures :) ) It refers to the decision to purposefully write outside of the accepted norm and to try something that does not guarantee (there are no guarantees, I know) success. By choosing that setting, though I could argue that in some ways the setting chose me, I purposefully placed it outside the 'normal'.

Bravery is definitely a thing. And not just the bravery of characters, which can be conveyed in the story, their actions, the emotion. There is bravery in the writing choices. Who would ever have thought that a story about teenage anti-hero would sell? But it did - that was bravery, sticking to your guns, telling the story you wanted to tell, or wanted to be told, even though it was outside the normal range.

I also chose, very deliberately, to limit the Point of Views (Pov) in The Stone Road. Two only and alternative chapters - the world happening around them. It means you don't see everything, things happen and the characters react, the characters act and things happen.

My writing and story style, doesn't suit multiple PoV - either chapter by chapter or scene by scene. I admire people who can plan and plot to that degree, who can have it all hang together. It is not me. I start with an idea, a plot line, and a general idea of an ending and just go - along the way, I refine, I edit, I change, I find out things, am shocked by the characters, am sad with them, fear for them, but I never know quite how it will turn out when I start. It does make editing and redrafting a bit of a bugger :)

All this rambling reminds me of a file in my loft. It contains the first 3 to 5 chapters of about 7 books - all written to be 'traditional fantasy' and all unfinished, all going nowhere - they were not 'me'.

I think I have answered that in the most rambling, incoherent way possible :)

sorry Sarah

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