by Caren Gussoff I’ve sat in a lot of panels — and eavesdropped on a bunch of conversations — lately, in which genre writers have asked, debated, and/or mused about crossing over from SFF magazines and journals into straight-up literary fiction ones. Seems to many, and I agree, that the notorious snobbery and befuddlement of […]
Archive for the ‘Writing Technique’ Category
This manual is intended to focus on the special needs of the science fiction workshop. Having an accurate and descriptive critical term for a common SF problem makes it easier to recognize and discuss. This guide is intended to save workshop participants from having to “reinvent the wheel” (see section 3) at every session.
A short story is like a pie because, first, you can do one relatively quickly. Second, everyone likes pie.
Third, with both short stories and pie, you can use the finest ingredients in the world and still come up with an inedible mess.
Don DeLillo wrote: “One truth is the swing of the sentence, the beat and poise, but down deeper it’s the integrity of the writer as he matches with the language.”
Can the same thing be said about a writer’s connection to the work of another?
In Silent Interviews, Samuel R. Delany said: “I begin, a sentence lover. I’m forever delighted, then delighted all over, at the things sentences can trip and trick you into saying, into seeing. I’m astonished—just plain tickled!—at the sharp turns and tiny tremors they can whip your thoughts across.
How does a sudden attack that puts a sword in your belly play from the inside? If you’d seen the blade properly would it be in your belly? Didn’t you see it properly a little too late, when it was up to the hilt? Shift that “blade” and we shift the awareness of it.
by Deborah Walker Ideas for my stories come to me in museums, in galleries, in libraries. Find me upstairs (and it’s always quieter upstairs) in the British Museum trawling the past looking for future inspiration. Old books, paintings, objects are part of our material heritage. Survivors of the ravages of times, sometimes cherished throughout the […]
An outline is a roadmap. It helps you decide the overall shape of the novel. It does not lock you into that structure if you stumble upon something interesting.
Which came first—the chicken, the egg, or the egg white omelet—I don’t know. But the discussion glosses over an obvious gap: white authors.
My personal preference is for what I’ve called third-order answers. A lot of mysteries have an obvious culprit, and then a character who is, if you know your narrative conventions, the obvious alternative to the obvious culprit. I like mysteries that go one step further.