Until fairly recently, it was standard practice for a new science fiction or fantasy writer to rack up a few sales in Asimov’s or Weird Tales before even attempting a novel. Very few writers would be taken seriously until they had established a track record of published stories. These days, speculative fiction writers (particularly in…… Continue reading Writing Life: How Novel!
Imagine that you’ve just encountered an alien life form. Once you’ve gotten over the initial shock/excitement/etc. of discovering that we are indeed not alone in the universe, you of course want to find out all about it: where it comes from, what its home world is like. Assuming it’s sentient, you’ll also want to know…… Continue reading Spec Tech: Xenolinguistics
One of the most useful pieces of writing advice I’ve ever gotten is one of the simplest: Before your last draft, read your story out loud. I’m not talking about droning through it as if you’re reading the telephone book or a recipe for roast chicken, or trying to outtalk John Moschitta. I’m talking about…… Continue reading SF&F Troubleshooting with Delia Sherman: Reading Aloud
Although it is entirely possible (and some say even advisable) in the SF&F market to plunge straight into writing and selling novels, there is a lot to be learned from writing short fiction. Good prose is good prose, and a few sales in the right places can be an excellent way to demonstrate that you’re…… Continue reading Writing Life: Life is Short
Moore’s law describes how the cost of transistors for computer integrated circuits has halved every two years, laying the groundwork for the idea that computing power increases at an exponential (rather than at a linear) rate. Applied across all areas of technology, the idea of exponential change leads to the concept of The Singularity, a…… Continue reading Spec Tech: Your Genome Sequence is (Almost) Here
The problem: you’re trying to write a scene using a character that doesn’t feel right somehow. He just doesn’t sing. You move him from one side of the room to the other like a puppet. But if you cut the strings, he falls to the floor.
Almost every writer can vouch for the value of writers groups and workshops. For many, a weekly or monthly session with your group, whether online or in the flesh, can provide a welcome respite from the solitude that comes with the writing life. In addition to sharing ideas and experiences with fellow travelers, deadlines can…… Continue reading Writing Life: Criticism – Constructive or Destructive?