Your Writing Mentor Gary Gibson
Learn from a leading Science Fiction author
Gary a leading author of hard science fiction, space opera and post-apocalyptic fiction.
Since the mid-2000s Gary Gibson has had ten science fiction novels published by Pan MacMillan, along with shorter works and novellas appearing through small press publishers including Newcon Press. He’s also worked with over a hundred unpublished authors since 2009 while also working as a structural editor on a number of traditionally published science fiction novels.
Prior to this, he took part in or ran writers workshops in his home town of Glasgow since 1990, when he made his first professional short fiction sale.
These days he lives in the Far East, working on new novels and stories and as a freelance editor.
Specialises in: Science fiction, speculative fiction, fantasy and horror.
Gary provides tuition for our Mentoring Service.
Why we love Gary
We’ve been working with Gary as an editor for a number of years and seen first-hand what a difference he can make to new (and even established!) writers. If you’re writing Sci-fi, fantasy or speculative fiction – you’re in safe hands here.
What Gary says about Mentoring
There’s no easy way to learn to write. In the end, it’s a butt-in-seat and fingers on the keyboard process that builds skill incrementally and over a long time. This isn’t a bad thing: most things really worth doing are never easy to learn.
But the real problem is trying to figure out when you’re doing it right and when you’re doing it wrong, and that’s where mentoring comes in.
A long time ago, I went to a guitar teacher. He told me I was doing a lot of things wrong — I sat the wrong way, my hands weren’t in the right position, my string-picking was all over the place and my chords were sloppy as hell.
But the real lesson I learned that day was quite different: that in order to progress, one must unlearn bad habits. In terms of writing, it means that with a structured and conscious approach to story construction, character and setting, one can create on paper the kind of worlds readers want to inhabit.
It took me years to unlearn bad habits and figure out the right way to tell a story. During that time I absorbed dozens of books on writing, attended writing workshops, talked to other writers about the art of writing and read hundreds upon hundreds of books and stories in my chosen genres. Slowly, I came to understand the ways in which the writers I admired told their stories, and of how I could learn from them. I put these tools to use when I wrote thirteen books, and it’s these same tools I’ll teach you to apply to your own work.
Now, after years of experience, when I look at a manuscript by a new and unpublished writer I don’t so much see the book as it is _but as it could and should be_. Mentoring, then, means showing you how to see your story from my own perspective, so that you understand what needs to be done to make your work stronger and more appealing. That process can reignite the feelings of excitement and enthusiasm that can sometimes lag in the long, hard push to finish a novel.
I get you there by focusing on time-worn methods of plot construction that are literally as old as writing itself, but without your having to spend the years and decades I myself did in order to reach that destination.
Every writer is different, and every book is different, too. What works for one may not work for another, so the mentoring approach will be tailored to your specific needs. In the process we’ll dig deep into the story and flesh out character motivation and also setting — something that’s particularly important in speculative fiction.
Start your mentoring today
Get expert one-to-one advice from Gary Gibson as you write and edit your manuscript.
Need some extra help?
Get in touch with our Writers Support team who will be happy to help!