As I mentioned in a post earlier this year (“Language and Culture”, 1/13/11), it is critical to distinguish between what a language has a formalized method for saying and what a language is capable of expressing. Apparently at odds with public opinion, the expressive power of a language is not limited by the words in…… Continue reading Spec Tech: Inception
Reach for the stars, or maybe, Hope for the stars. Writers are always setting challenges of every sort, at every level. We want to say something in such a way that other people want to hear it, but it is the challenges we set ourselves that make that possible. Speaking practically, most of us want…… Continue reading Asper ad astra, baby.
This is the story of my journey into doubt, and a call for your own tales of how a minor incident can shake a writer’s confidence, if only for an hour. We all take it as a given, here, that writers are who we are and writing is what we have to do. I was…… Continue reading Writer’s Craft #13 – The Doubt Button
This week it’s time for more fun with ambiguity. What is a “fair vessel”? Tell us all about it. There are only two rules for Clarion Calls: If you choose to try the assignment, do not read the comments section before you post yours. This is a critique-free zone, and that includes critique of your…… Continue reading Clarion Call #12: Fair Vessel
In previous Spec Techs we have designed a sailing ship suitable for a fantasy novel and then considered the sort of crew necessary to sail her. In this post we will take the last important step; we will discuss how to sail her. One of the most effective ways as writer to turn off a…… Continue reading Spec Tech: Learning to Sail
The action is rolling along fine. Then your hero bursts into that special obstacle: the crowd scene. Whether the build-up to the crowd scene is psychological or blood-and-guts fighting, the risk of losing momentum while you pause to set up the new situation is palpable. Have a look at my example, below, from my work-in-progress,…… Continue reading Writer’s Craft #12 – The Crowd Scene
Place this scene fragment in context: “It was in my head this morning,” Rina moaned, “but now it’s gone.” “What do you expect me to do about it?” said Gar, rustling his wings slightly in irritation. There are only two rules for Clarion Calls: If you choose to try the assignment, do not read the…… Continue reading Clarion Call #11: Gone