Archive for the ‘Tips for Beginners’ Category

What Does Slavic Fantasy Even Mean?

by Jelena Dunato When my publisher prepared the marketing strategy for my upcoming novel Dark Woods, Deep Water, one of the obvious labels proposed besides “fantasy” and “dark” was “Slavic.” It’s clear why—I’m Croatian; I’ve written a book featuring Morana, the Slavic Goddess of Death. And yet, this label caused me intense discomfort. It took […]

Making Soft Magic Systems Work

By M.K. Hutchins Soft magic has been with us since humans had stories: it’s in our fairytales, our folklore, and continues to be popular today, appearing in everything from Studio Ghibli films to the writings of Terry Pratchett, to Axie Oh’s The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea. Soft magic usually gets defined by what […]

THE INDIE FILES: How to Bring Your Indie Book to the Attention of a Librarian

By Kelly McClymer Do you dream of seeing your indie book in your local library catalog? You are not alone. Many a traditionally published author shares your dream. Here are a few hard facts: Libraries generally purchase hardback library editions (volumes that have had the spines reinforced to hold up for multiple reads). Shelf space […]

Writing Eyebrows: How to Orchestrate Emotion in Your Story

by Hunter Liguore Creating new characters takes a careful eye. When an idea comes, we might rely on familiar images to fashion characters that aren’t truly our own, but rather influenced through media images or by people we’ve encountered or known well. What is often missed in the early drafting of characters is the up-close […]

Tired Disability Tropes In SFF: Do Better

By Anessa Kemna  Science fiction and fantasy should be the perfect places for disability representation. Writers make the rules in their worlds. But it’s difficult to find disabled characters and even harder to find quality representation in the SFF genres. It’s difficult in mainstream fiction too, but a genre built on imagination should have higher […]

The Do’s and Don’ts of Asking for Reviews

by Carien Ubink It’s important to get reviews, but if you ask in the wrong way, your request might be deleted right away. So here are some do’s and don’ts when asking a blogger or fellow author for a review. Do your research. This means you need to have a good look at the blog/site/profile […]

Breaking Into Publishing Isn’t Easy, but if You’re Not in America, It’s Even Harder

By Sascha Stronach Note: This article first appeared in The Bulletin #216 in October 2021. Publishing (verb): the act of smashing your head against a wall until you see daylight. Publishing From Outside America (verb): as above, at long range. In the aftermath of CoNZealand, the 78th Worldcon, there was a palpable feeling of betrayal […]

What Speculative Fiction Writers Can Learn from the Origins and Evolution of the Wuxia Genre

by Yilin Wang Note: This article first appeared in The Bulletin #216 in October 2021. When I tell other writers who are not familiar with Sinophone literature that I am writing short stories and a novel that play with the wuxia fiction genre in English, I am often met with one or more of the […]