by Jeff Reynolds When I was eight, I wrote my first short story. It was bad, as the writing of an eight-year-old tends to be, full of tropes and endless misspellings. It long ago disappeared into the trash bin of my personal history. But my teacher gave me an A on the work, and I […]
Archive for the ‘The Craft of Writing’ Category
News from The Odyssey Writing Workshops Charitable Trust: Odyssey has been a pioneer and innovator in holding live online classes since 2010. Live class meetings allow a virtual “physical college classroom” experience, in which students can participate in discussions, ask questions, and learn from an instructor who is responsive, in the moment, to students’ concerns, confusions, […]
by Nathan Nance,
So you’re writing SFF, and you’ve got spaceships to design. Engine systems to map. A haunted forest to populate. A talking badger to draw. If you’re not a rocket scientist writing hard sci-fi, how are you supposed to make your version of James S.A. Corey’s Rocinante, you know, fly?
by Daniel Brotzel
Finishing a book sounds like hard enough work when there’s just one of you. Can working with someone else really help? Yes! says Dan Brotzel, who’s recently launched a novel he wrote with two pals. Here’s the why and the how…
by Luna Corbden
I have turned my inner narrative around with one simple new rule: “Count your successes.”
by Paul Jessup
Novels are hard, yo. I mean, books in general, maybe writing overall? But for me making that leap from short stories to novels was a difficult transition. I had to completely change my writerly habits, completely reinvent the ways I was doing things altogether.
by Ken Pelham
World-building is more than misty mountains, crumbling castles, dripping neon cityscapes, and talking rats. It’s also about psychology and language, and the language equation includes the everyday corruptions of jargon and slang.
by Filip Wiltgren
Want to be insanely productive? Check this:
I live in a country where the fruit comes with stickers on it. Meaning that before you eat your apple, you need to remove a piece of plastic, clawing at the little sucker, then going and tossing it in the garbage. This takes about five seconds.
by Alex Woolf
One trend that I think is likely to have more enduring appeal is narrative non-fiction (NNF): the blending of story elements with non-fiction. Typically, this involves the author inventing characters and a simple plot device, such as a journey. Along the way, the characters discover real-world information, be it about science, history or geography. The idea is that by employing narrative techniques such as characterization, dramatic tension, dialogue and atmosphere, the process of information acquisition is made a lot more compelling.
We all know ‘an army marches on its stomach,’ but it’s not like Napoleon discovered something new. Vegetius (De re militari) and Sun Tzu (The Art of War) were well aware of this concept, as was Alexander the Great (Engels, Alexander the Great and the Logistics of the Macedonian Army, 1980). And it wasn’t news to them, either. Pre-modern military commanders knew this; they planned for this. They paid attention to logistics.
Fantasy writers should, too.