Archive for the ‘Tips for Beginners’ Category

4 Pitfalls To Avoid When Crafting Trans Characters (SF&F Edition!)

By Ashley Lauren Rogers

There are numerous examples of classic science fiction and fantasy stories that deal with gender and what happens when we deviate from expectations of that gender. Include popular shows like Transparent, movies like The Danish Girl, and celebrities like Laverne Cox, Janet Mock, and the politically polarizing Caitlin Jenner–and it’s no wonder that an increasing amount of fiction, including YA, is featuring trans and non­binary characters. So how can writers–especially if they aren’t trans or nonbinary–create such characters?

Try Writing Comics

by Sara Ryan

Whatever your situation as a writer, I’d like to encourage you to try writing in the comics format. I keep using the word “format” to emphasize that, as advocates of comics have often been compelled to repeat, “It’s a format, not a genre.” Comics are not just about superheroes, or crime, or memoir, or humor, or romance, or journalism, or realism, or surrealism, or science fiction, or fantasy. Comics can be all those things and more.

The Pleasures of Anthology Editing

by Susan Forest

I like seeing a passage, whether my own or someone else’s, improve with a changed word choice, a question answered, or an idea clarified or extended. To create an entirety—a book—from the discrete stories that make it up, by juxtaposing ideas, styles and emotional content, was a satisfying and creative process that was new to me.

Ten Thoughts About the Business Side of Writing

by Russell Galen

Have an agent. If you feel you don’t need one, find another human being to whom you have no emotional attachments, who knows a lot about the IP business, will tell you the truth, will be a sounding board for your literary and business questions, and will speak to the buyers of your work so that you can keep some distance from them.

Text Expansion Tools

by Aidan Doyle

Text expansion tools are a way to save time by using shortcuts for text you commonly type. For example, on my computer I type -em and it’s automatically replaced by my email address. When submitting short stories I have a standard cover letter template. I type -pubs and modify the template according to the market. If you’re an editor sending many similar emails, text expansion tools can save you a lot of time.

Guest Post: Set Powerful Deadlines

by Leo Babauta

I’m not always a fan of deadlines and goals, but it’s good to be able to use whatever works best for you. If you’re working great without deadlines and goals, then by all means, keep going. But if you’re struggling to push a project forward (or a learning project like language lessons), then you might try a self-imposed deadline.