by Susan Forest There are as many paths into creating fiction as there are writers, and widely differing approaches have led to successful works. Entire books have been written how to plan a story; here, I will focus on one small process: translating the circular Hero’s Journey into a linear plot. This translation involves (1) […]
Archive for the ‘Writing Technique’ Category
by Dan Brotzel
The philosopher of language Paul Grice (1913-88) is best known for his four conversational maxims, which describe what’s going on when people hold a conversation. I want to look at these to see how they can help us in crafting fiction.
by Alex Woolf
“Why do we always have to reinvent the wheel?” my editor once asked me.
When a new book is launched, it’s like introducing a stranger to a largely disinterested world. Potential readers know nothing about its characters or the kind of plot they might expect. Publishers are forced to spend a great deal of money on marketing to give the book a comforting, pseudo-familiar feel. The title and cover design will be reminiscent of other, similar books that readers might already have enjoyed.
by Ken Pelham
Your stiff-upper-lipped hero, Professor Jenkins, frustrated with the chicanery of Air Captain Hamm, pounds the table and shouts, “Good heavens, man! The scoundrel has hatched yet another outrageous boondoggle!”
Boondoggle. This is where your narrative gets stuck in the etymological weeds.
by Suyi Davies Okungbowa
It’s virtually impossible to do ALL of your SFF worldbuilding prior to writing your book/story. How much weight is given to each stage depends on the author (some prefer to do a lot before starting, some build nothing before writing). My own preference is to build the foundation–just enough to get me started, then build more along the way, and go back and change stuff after I’m done.
by Cameron N. Coulter
Since March 2018, I’ve been writing a monthly short fiction review column for Skiffy and Fanty. A year ago, I didn’t have too many thoughts on reviewing, but now I find I can have long conversations about it.
by Paul Jessup
Ever since I first started taking writing seriously as a teenager, I’ve always written to music. Back then it was a bit more difficult than it is now, in the days of Spotify and gigantic playlists that can stretch on for hours or even days. Back in those days I would make mix tapes for my writing, each story and scene would get its own mixtape of songs that I felt carried the tone and the emotion of what I’m trying to convey.
by Chris Sumberg
The phrase “clear as a mountain stream” gets splashed around pretty loosely, sometimes in reference to clear writing but also in reference to the sometimes not-at-all-clear names of actual bodies of water, clear or otherwise. When you take time to examine the hard, cold facts, it makes you wonder if writing that is as clear as a mountain stream is, in fact, very clear at all.
by E. D. E. Bell
As a former engineer, data analyst, strategic advisor, and manager who entered the fiction writing and fiction editing world not too far apart and not so long ago, I’ve had to come up to speed quickly on concepts and best practices that a lot of editors my age have been practicing a long time.
by Paul Jessup Believe it or not, I hammered out the first draft of this post on a typewriter. Gasp! Shock! Cue the fainting couch! How could I do such a thing? This day in age? Why that’s madness! And yet, I did it and I will probably continue to write just like this with […]