Archive for the ‘Writing Technique’ Category

Fantasy Worldbuilding Questions: Social Organization

  • Where is scientific and/or magical research done — universities, private labs, under the auspices of the ruler/government, etc.?
  • Does it require a license to be a wizard? If so, is it more like a driver’s license (something nearly everyone in our culture gets upon coming of age) or like a doctor’s license (something only a small percentage of the population will ever get)? Who certifies wizards: government, wizard’s guild/AMA, local priests?

Research Tool: Google News Timeline

If you are writing fiction that’s set at any point in the real world’s history, the subject of research can take up countless hours of time. The nitty details can tie up you up while writing anything from alternate history to urban fantasy. Sometimes though, you just need to know a quick date to set the background of your story.

Check out the Google News Timeline, as a quick place to start your search.

Writing SF For Kids

by Justin Stanchfield Is writing science fiction or fantasy for younger markets really different? Well … Yes and No. It’s true that children’s lit, especially for early readers, can follow a simpler format than mainstream fiction. But … Everything you know about writing, all the rules, guidelines and advice you’ve been given before still applies. […]

A Writer’s Guide to Understanding the Copyeditor

by Terry McGarry Originally appeared in the Bulletin of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Spring 1995. Copyright © 1995 Terry McGarry. Reprinted with permission. Many copyeditors prefer to spell the word “copyeditor.” I laughed when I got page proofs of a short story I had written about a copyeditor: the anthology’s copyeditor […]

Murder Your Darlings

It’s the nature of writers to fall in love with words, particularly their own. Clever turns of phrase excite us; we beam like proud parents when our protagonists take on lives of their own; a shapely plot twist can turn our heads. There is nothing wrong with indulging in the occasional fling-as long as it stops in draft. When time comes to make that final revision, however, you must harden your heart, sharpen the ax and murder your darlings.