Archive for the ‘Writing Technique’ Category

Painting Characters into Corners

by Nancy Fulda

If you write stories, this has probably happened to you:

The words are flowing. The plot is exciting. Your characters, faced with overwhelming odds, find themselves in the midst of a difficult and absolutely enthralling situation. It’s the Big, Dramatic Moment of your story – and you have no idea what happens next. The bad guys are too strong, the social pressures are too powerful, the pit is too deep, or your character is too broken. Try as you might, you can’t think of a single way to get your protagonist out of the current crisis.

Speaking With Authority About Things That (Probably) Do Not Exist

by Jeremiah Tolbert

I once sat beside a campfire in Washington and listened to a man with a pistol strapped to his waist lecture for an hour about the ecology and habits of the Sasquatch. Meanwhile, my companions–a college professor and two high school teachers–had taken up buckets in a circle around our camp and were drumming to attract the great skunk ape into our midst.

Variations of Villainy

by Nancy Fulda

Villains are challenging to write. Make them too heartless, and no one will find them believable. Make them too empathetic, and the audience will end up rooting for the wrong team. It can be difficult to create an antagonist with enough human virtue to be interesting and enough human foibles to be, well, villainous.

Guest Post: Contrary Writing Advice: Don’t Finish This Story!

by Deborah J. Ross I love to take conventional wisdom and turn it on its head, following the tradition of rules are made to be broken but first you have to learn them. Beginning writers make mistakes. At least, I did, and I don’t know anyone who’s gone on to a successful writing career who didn’t. At […]

Lit Fic Mags for Spec Fic Writers 103: Five Markets to Consider (and Two Databases to Bookmark)

by Caren Gussoff Note: Part One appears here: Lit Fic Mags for Spec Fic Writers 101. Part Two appears here: Lit Fic Mags for Spec Fic Writers 102: Is It Literary? ••• Now, you’ve decided to submit to a literary market for a particular story. You’re hip to the fundamental differences between lit mags and SFF mags […]