Writing ‘POC’ is not enough. It doesn’t merit applause, or points for diversity. What does merit applause and accolades is acknowledging and depicting unreduced minorities—especially marginalized voices—in writing. We are not a monolith. Our stories are as complicated and intersectional as anyone else’s.
Archive for the ‘Writing Technique’ Category
by Leanna Renee Hieber
I’m often asked if my professional theatre and playwrighting background helps me as a fiction writer. It does in countless ways. Theatrical form, training and structure are holistically integrated into how I see the world and operate as a storyteller.
by Martin Jenkins
One of the pleasures of genre is that it lets us identify a type of writing that we know we like. We’d feel short-changed if a crime novel didn’t feature a crime, after all, or if a romance didn’t put the travails of a relationship front and center. What we don’t want to see, however, is a mere repetition of genre tropes and clichés – it’s what is fresh and different in a work of fiction that keeps us turning the page while still being identifiably a genre work.
by Ken Pelham
Occasionally, you come across a work of fiction told in the form of documents. Letters, court reports, diaries, news articles, and such. We call this epistolary narration (from the root word, epistle, meaning “letter”). Some call epistolary a gimmick. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I’m a sucker for it.
by Amelia Wiens
One of the best parts of science fiction and fantasy is the worldbuilding. A key part of creating interesting worlds is creating diverse cultures that vary in some way from our own norms. That being said, it can be so hard to get out of our own culture’s point of view and redefine elements that we unconsciously take for granted.
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 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 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.