This winter, writers can level up their skills in three key areas through live, intensive online classes offered by the Odyssey Writing Workshops Charitable Trust. Odyssey is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit known worldwide for offering some of the best in-person and online programs for writers of fantasy, science fiction, and horror.
Archive for the ‘The Craft of Writing’ Category
by Rosalind Moran
The moody male lead is widespread throughout all genres, but it can be difficult to see why anybody would want to spend time with him. He’s brooding, exceedingly individualistic, melancholic, and disposed to hanging around outdoors during thunderstorms for no good reason beyond cultivating his mystique.
by Rosalind Moran
A regrettable trend across much fantasy writing is that of a horse not really being a horse, but simply a plot device; a vehicle to help carry a story along. Horses, however, are not vehicles.
by Richard Chwedyk
Here’s an assignment I give my students:
They receive a copy of the first chapter of H. G. Wells’ War of the Worlds.
It is roughly 2,250 words.
I tell the students that Mr. Wells has just received a note from his editor. “Great stuff, Herbie, but you go on too long here. Cut this first chapter in half.”
by Dennis Mathis
It was madness. The classes went on until the janitor came to turn out the lights, and we never seemed to get anywhere. This wasn’t a course about writing, it was about readers and how infinitely bone-headed they could be.
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?
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.
by Richard J. Chwedyk
When I started “teaching” the Science Fiction Writing Workshop for undergrad and grad students at Columbia College Chicago, I had no idea what my priorities should be. There’s an obvious plethora of things you want to communicate – a million things you want your students to know. But I wondered: what’s the most important thing for your students to come away with?
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.
by Megan Leigh
When it comes to equal representation in fiction, women have a long way to go. There simply aren’t enough female characters in books and that’s counting those that appear only as romantic interests, victims to be saved, or someone’s mother. Is it really so much to ask for an equal number and variety of well-written, three-dimensional female characters?