10 Writing "Rules" We Wish More Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors Would Break Kinja is in read-only mode. We are working to restore service. I give a hearty Here Here for #4! There is nothing wrong with telling a story that fits within the covers of a single book. Remember, the whole Trilogy+ got started when the publisher got fed up with the fact Tolkien wouldn't finish. The moment I see something like "Book One of the (insert name of place or magic item and latin number)ogy", I want to put the book down. Flagged Ten rules for writing fiction Elmore Leonard: Using adverbs is a mortal sin 1 Never open a book with weather. If it's only to create atmosphere, and not a character's reaction to the weather, you don't want to go on too long. The reader is apt to leaf ahead looking for people. There are exceptions. If you happen to be Barry Lopez, who has more ways than an Eskimo to describe ice and snow in his book Arctic Dreams, you can do all the weather reporting you want. 2 Avoid prologues: they can be annoying, especially a prologue following an introduction that comes after a foreword. 3 Never use a verb other than "said" to carry dialogue. 4 Never use an adverb to modify the verb "said" ... he admonished gravely. 5 Keep your exclamation points under control. 6 Never use the words "suddenly" or "all hell broke loose". 7 Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly. 8 Avoid detailed descriptions of characters, which Steinbeck covered. 10 Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip. Diana Athill Margaret Atwood Roddy Doyle
Ain’t Miscuratin’ As far as word trends go, the word curate still exists in a somewhat rarified air. One can use curate knowingly with tongue in cheek: “Let’s curate our spice rack!” Or, more commonly and less nerdily, in the service of specialized artisanal commerce: “curating food stands” of the Brooklyn Flea swap meet, or a site that lets women curate their own clothing store from featured brands, earning 10% on any sales from their page. Curate used pejoratively indicates The Man- “If The Huffington Post wants to curate Twitter…” [uh, users will be upset]. And then there is that other definition specific to the practice of art curating. Everyone’s a critic but who’s a curator? In current usage, curating as discipline, which involves assembling and arranging artworks, has been usurped by curating as a nebulous expression of taste, presumed to be inherent rather than learned. To some extent taste has been wedded to curating since the latter’s inception. We All Are! “Let’s curate our spice rack!”
religion in fantasy novels | helluo librorum Since no one burned my house down after the Tolkien post, I’m going out on a limb here and talk to you about using religion in your fantasy novels. Generally speaking, when building worlds in fantasy novels, the religions of your world will be a reflection of the religions here on good old planet earth. So I’m going to offer a few suggestions – take them or leave them: Know thy religion. If you’re basing your world’s religion on an existing faith thoroughly understand those beliefs. If all you have is superficial knowledge of a religion, it will show in your writing; at best you will look inexperienced, at worst, like an idiot. Understand the core beliefs. Avoid stereotypes. Religions don’t kill. Treat all religions with respect. Don’t be malicious. World building is a difficult process; as a fantasy writer you are creating a whole social order, and you want it to be believable. A few articles to see: Like this: Like Loading... Please visit my web site at: www.teresafrohock.com
10 Laws of Good Science Fiction | Resources for Science Fiction Writers Author’s note: These rules are intentionally provocative, and they have generated much discussion and some intense opinions for and against. This is as it should be. They are not all original with me. Rules 6, 8, and 9 have been stated (in different words) by SF editors for years, so if you write and submit stories, you may have been reminded of them in rejection letters. These rules are more applicable to written SF than TV or film. Please don’t trash me (or my spelling) when you think that you disagree. 10. Subscribers to Science Fiction magazines in the 1950s were predominantly adult educated white men working as engineers or other technical jobs. Today, SF readers are younger and much more diverse. Science Fiction should expand the worldview of its readers and expose them to much more than the normal, expected and ordinary. 9. It is quite possible that we will meet such beings, but it will not be such a good story because the aliens will destroy us, ignore us, or take us as pets. 8.
5 situations where it's better to tell than show in your fiction @ceti: BAH! Curse you both! This is a ploy with my co-worker, who only mentioned that I need to take this book from my shelf, dust it off, and read it already. You're all my Jiminy Crickets...Resolution #1 decided. @ceti: (My posts don't show correctly at times, so I apologize if this is a double.) Curse you both for conspiring with my co-worker, who only yesterday mentioned that I needed to take this book from my shelf, dust it off, and read it. You are all my Jiminy Crickets...Resolution #1 decided. Thanks! @Craig Michael Ranapia: Good example. That was pretty captivating!
Content curation in 13 minutes a day – Conversation Marketing Steady, smart content curation can grow your audience on lots of social media outlets. It’s list building, social media-style: You help folks find and filter other people’s good stuff. In exchange, they start paying more attention to your good stuff. Just the facts, folks: This is a step-by-step look at how I do my daily content curation. The setup I did all of these things once, to get my toolset in order: Get a Timely.is account.Install the Timely bookmarklet in my favorite browser.Sign up for HootsuiteSet up Hootsuite to use your Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts.Sign up for Bit.ly Pro. All done. 10 minutes, every morning Review my Google Reader list.If a headline looks interesting, I read the story.If I think my audience will find it useful, I open the story in a separate browser window. Click ‘Add to Queue’. Repeat this process until you’ve got 10 or so posts lined up for the day. Total time: 10 minutes, tops. Side benefit: You stay informed and might even learn something new.
Write It Sideways » Blog Archive » 5 Visual Strategies for Plotting Your Novel I don’t know about you, but for me, plotting a full-length novel is one of the most difficult aspects of writing. I tend to come up with a great premise, but turning that into a plot becomes a lot of work. I don’t usually get it right the first time, either. Personally, what works best for me during this outlining process is to have plenty of visual material on hand. Here are 5 visual strategies I have used for outlining: 1. Pictures are a great way to visualize your plot, setting, and characters. You can keep either a digital file of pictures on your computer (taken yourself with a digital camera, or ones you find on the internet), or a real file with film pictures/magazine cutouts. Whichever you use, make sure you hold onto them for when you start actually writing. 2. There are a few different types of writing software on the market, all of which help you organize your projects into bite-sized pieces for ease of writing and revising. 3. 4. 5. Visualize Your Plot
Fantasy Clichés to Avoid - What Beginners Do in Fantasy Fiction Fantasy Fiction Clichés to Avoid - What Beginners Do in Fantasy Fiction [First, my profound apologies to the vast majority of readers who don't steal content, but I have to state the following. This article and all content on this website belongs to Val Kovalin, copyright © Obsidianbookshelf.com, except where noted. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without written permission from Val Kovalin is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Val Kovalin and Obsidianbookshelf.com with a return link to the original content.] Here at Obsidianbookshelf.com, I always have to keep these clichés in mind. Architecture.An historic castle is sometimes really tiny! In reality, those castles and keeps were sometimes built small to be easy to defend. Appearance of character.Keep it to a minimum.I'm all for not describing your character at all, and letting your readers fill in their own picture. For example, I have a sergeant.
How Not to Be a Clever Writer I think you're somewhat misunderstanding what I'm saying here. I'm not saying "No risk or experimentation." I'm saying those things are tools — use them to tell the story you want to tell, don't just use them because you want to use them. My interpretation of the article is that it's a sort of 'How not to be JJ Abrams'. As much as I love the majority of what I've seen of his stuff, he does seem to try too hard to be clever a LOT of the time. I love the complex plotting of Lost, but it gets convoluted and drops a lot of interesting ideas at times, and the bracelet thing at the end of Super 8 was cringeworthingly heavy-handed. Sometimes with this kind of cleverness, it's best to accept you don't know how to make it work in this scenario. And I think you're misunderstanding me a little. :) No, you're not saying it, but your piece does suggest particular directions over others.
How To Find Content for Your Blog and Never Run Out of Topic Ideas by Lorie Huston, DVM on July 20, 2011 Finding good original content for your blog is essential to your blog's success. Blogging is an ongoing process and the more often you publish new content on your blog, the more successful your blog is likely to become. As the saying goes, “content is king.” But where will that content come from? Here are some suggestions to assist in making sure you never run out of topics for your blog. Keep a notebook with you at all times to jot down ideas that might occur to you during the course of the day. These are a few of the ideas that you can use to find content for your blog. Photo Courtesy of Search Engine People Blog/Flickr.com If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to grab our RSS feed or subscribe by email to receive notifications when new content is added. Need help with your social media outreach? About Lorie Huston, DVM