Friday, 6 May 2011

An Interesting Evening...Peter F Hamilton

Wednesday evening (4th May) was the Speaker's meeting at Nottingham Writers' Club. This month we were very fortunate to have Sci-fi writer Peter F Hamilton  sharing his knowledge and experience in interview form, followed by a Q & A.

writer,science fiction books
Writer Peter F Hamilton and a few of his books

We were lucky in having former club member Neil Fulwood to help us out with the interview. Neil is not only an experienced writer and poet, but has also read and enjoyed all of Peter's books, so could ask relevant questions- even if a few of them were beyond my reading scope...

I have to reluctantly admit that the nearest I usually get to sci-fi is repeats of Star Trek.

But I did pick up some quotes and useful insights that apply to all of us even if we don't write science-fiction.

Yes, he has had rejection slips just like the rest of us.

Now 'world building', Peter emphasised that he puts a lot of thought into this aspect before he writes. He needs to know how that world works, is governed and so on. He said "If I can't believe it, I have no chance of anyone else believing it."

(For the rest of us, even if we already have the world set up for us [world as it is today or in the past] we've still got to make our reader believe that the place we've set our story in is believable.)

There's no set formula to work to- each writer works their own way.

You "need to write from the heart."

"If you can't stand being criticised then don't get published."

"Every story has its own length."
(That's reassuring as I often worry about length of my longer projects.)

I didn't feel too bad when Peter said that when he starts work each day he reads the previous day's work and polishes it, then moves on engaged with the story.

(Okay I don't write every day yet, but I do re-read the previous writing session before I can get on- if I don't do that I just can't get on as something will be nagging me.)

There was a lot of information relating to sci-fi writing so if you ever get the chance to visit a convention or book signing where Peter is talking then go, you won't be disappointed.

Be warned, his books are big, but fortunately you can read many of them as  Kindle books.


Rosemary Gemmell said...

Sounds an interesting evening, Carol - thanks for sharing the tips.

Carolb said...

Thanks Rosemary. It certainly confirmed that no matter the genre the basics still apply.

Keith Havers said...

I totally agree with you, Carol. This was a really good evening. I'm not a huge fan of sci-fi either. But I think that, if a writer is good at what he does, then it doesn't matter what they write. They're still worth listening to.

Carolb said...

I agree entirely Keith. Thanks for commenting.