mbarker: (Default)
Writing Excuses 5.16: Critiquing Dan's First Novel


Key Points: Avoid discontiguities. Stomp out the cliche that all fantasy starts with a long, dry, boring description. Character before things! Punch it up and show us a character's viewpoint. Consider your genre, but put the promise of the story as early as possible. Start the story where it starts, and don't tell us all the stuff you wanted to tell us, just start it and go. You don't have to fill in everything. One telling detail beats pages of prose. Evoke plot, character, and setting. Make each sentence do multiple things. When you rewrite, make decisions. Consider your pace, and rearrange information as needed.
Between the bindings... )
[Brandon] All right, Dan. I'm going to let you give us our writing prompt.
[Dan] Our writing prompt?
[Howard] And remember that time travelers may be reading this writing prompt for last week.
[Dan] May be reading this right now? Okay. This is... take an idiomatic expression and literalize it. So, for example, the crack of dawn... a world in which dawn actually cracks, visibly or audibly. Then describe that going on. Not as a pun, but as world building information.
Final jokes )
mbarker: (MantisYes)
Writing Excuses 5.15: Steampunk with Scott Westerfeld


Key points: Steampunk is Victorian science fiction, extrapolated without restriction to current notions of possibility. It's also very tactile. Fashions and manners and brass and chrome and leather. Plus flamethrowers. Not just a literary genre. To write Steampunk, start with alternate history world building, and add other technologies -- crazy weird stuff. The familiar and the strange. Do your research, but don't bury the characters and the story under the world. "If it's not fun, you're doing it wrong." Cherie Priest.
Under the steam robot clanking... )
[Howard] Final piece of advice for us, Scott? For writers who want to embrace the steamy punkiness of the Victorian era?
[Brandon] Or just any writing advice?
[Scott] Well, I'll quote Cherie Priest. "If it's not fun, you're doing it wrong."
[Brandon] Writing prompt is Tesla is President. This has been Writing Excuses. You're out of excuses, now go write.
mbarker: (Fireworks Delight)
By virtue of the authority vested in me by being a reader of science fiction and fantasy, I hereby join in Sharon Lee (and others) declaration of June 23 as Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Day!

Let the celebration begin!
Celebratory Ideas )
Go, celebrate today, recognizing that every day Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers are at work somewhere just for you. So let's give them a day to remember!
mbarker: (Me typing?)
Writing Excuses Season Three Episode Two: Keeping It Real


Key points: Make your characters feel real by studying real people. Research (Google maps, pictures, etc.) can help with setting. Also, distill the essence for imaginary settings -- how do places like that work? Ground your fantasy in science for plausibility. Give your readers convincing gnats, then don't try to explain the black boxes. Real characters who react in believable ways help make even ludicrous plots believable. Research can suggest plot hooks and twists that make the plot more real. Baby steps -- start small, then work up to big stuff -- can help writers to create and maintain the illusion of reality.
the nitty-gritty )
mbarker: (Fireworks Delight)
Tell your friends, tell your booksellers, tell everyone!

As explained right over here, Sharon Lee invites everyone to join in celebrating Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers (that would be the people who write the books and stories that we all read) on June 23.

So plan to thank a writer that day. To blog where speculative fiction has never been blogged about before? To read a book for the cause? Anyway, to give three cheers for Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers on this very special day.

Please pass this meme along to make Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Day bigger and better than ever! (All right, so the first one is automatically the biggest and best yet. But still, pass the meme, please?:-)

May 2017

7891011 1213


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 23rd, 2017 02:27 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios