Kell Willsen

The Problem of Perception

by , on
6th November 2018

Beta-reader feedback is a funny beast. Absolutely essential to the development of the story, and at the same time a fascinating cross-section of how the exact same story can be interpreted differently by different people.

Earther 27 is in editing now, and I’ve received all the feedback from this round of testing. The story has been described as science fiction, genre fantasy, literary fiction, low fantasy, and adventure. One reader commented that I should age-up a child character, because this is a book for adults, and adults don’t want to read about children. Another reader advised me to simplify the language in places, because this is a YA story, and younger teens won’t be able to understand it.

And that’s before you get to the people who have only heard me outline the idea. I talk about the situation with Outsiders conquering the Land and smothering the cultures there, while the Land’s original inhabitants fight amongst themselves over who’s most to blame; and everyone I meet tells me that my story sounds like an event in the history of their own culture.

And that’s fantastic! Because the problem of perception is only a problem if you hold to the idea that the author of a piece of fiction is the only one who can provide its interpretation. Is Earther 27 for kids, or adults? Is it genre or literary fiction? Soft sci-fi or low fantasy? Which real-world places and events did I base it on?

You decide.


Earther 27 will be available for pre-order soon.

That Was the Year That Wasn’t

by , on
30th October 2018

 2018 cancelledHello, Strangers. Well, that was an interesting year – for me. This blog has been sadly neglected, but that’s all about to change. From now on, Strange Worlds will update twice every month, on the first and third Tuesdays. (Plus occasional announcement posts, like this one.)

I won’t bore you with the details of why 2018 didn’t happen – it’s a weary tale, and a familiar one to many, I’m sure. Suffice it to say that I tried to do too much, and ended up doing almost nothing, while also running myself into the ground. Turns out I’m not Superwoman after all. Who knew?

Most posts won’t be this personal (or gloomy) I promise. I’ll be alternating between ‘Writers Write’ – posts about the writing process, and interesting things I’ve learned along the way; and ‘Writers Read’ – a monthly book review. I’ll mostly be reading SpecFic novels, but may branch out into other genres and/or media if I come across something sufficiently remarkable.

See you here next Tuesday for the first ‘Writers Write’ post: The Problem of Perception

Earther Ain’t Dead (Just Sleeping)

by , on
25th January 2018

I have no excuses, just an embarrassment of empty writing days. I think I need some motivation. Oi, Jane – help us out, will you?

I am not at all in a humor for writing; I must write on till I am. - Jane Austen

Thanks, Jane.

Taking a Moment to Celebrate…

by , on
30th November 2017

…my NaNoWriMo win!

NaNoWriMo Winner Badge 2017

Of course, the story isn’t over. As you’ll know if you’re reading along, we’re only about halfway through. I aim to have it finished by the middle of December, and the read-along posts will stay available until the end of January 2018. After that, you’ll have to wait for Earther to be published if you want to read it.

National Novel Writing Month runs writing events in April, July, and November. They also sponsor year-round literacy programs for young people. Take a moment to check them out, then come back here tomorrow for the next installment of Fragments: Earther, in all it’s rough-draft glory.

This is Not a Blog

by , on
24th October 2017

…not yet. It will be, though. Sign up to the newsletter using the form in the sidebar, and you’ll be amongst the first to know when there is anything to see here.