Monthly Archives: September 2019

Guest Post: Dawn Vogel on Fairy Tales and Fiction

Fairy tales have been around in one form or another for centuries, even if they weren’t written down and compiled into collections like Grimm’s Fairy Tales. They’ve changed over the centuries as well, shifting from folk stories to morality tales … Continue reading

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Late September Thoughts and Checking In

I’ve been reveling in a chance to be productive and at home after a summer so full of travel, and have been getting at least 1-2k words in on most days, plus I’ve gotten back to early morning gym runs, … Continue reading

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Guest Post: Michael Mammay on Reading Outside the Genre

Stephen King said, “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” I don’t know many pro writers who disagree with him. We might debate how much … Continue reading

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Where I’ll Be: MultiverseCon 2019

I’m the Industry Guest of Honor at the first ever Multiverse Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention, along with my friends Seanan McGuire and John Picacio! It should be an amazing time; please come say hi if you’re in the area. … Continue reading

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Guest Post: Alanna McFall Reveals How Fanfiction Helped Me Write My Novel

I still remember the moment I learned what fanfiction was.

I was in seventh grade and deep deep deep in an obsession with the Harry Potter novels. I was speaking to a ninth grade girl in the same school play as me and she mentioned that she loved Harry Potter as well, and all the extra stories she had found.

Extra stories? Had JK Rowling written something about Harry Potter that I hadn’t gotten my hands on yet? Where could I find these stories? This girl corrected me: no, these were written by other people, but they were about all sorts of things not in the books. People were writing these stories and all I had to do was look for them and I would have no end of Harry Potter, long before the next book came out. This revelation rocked my world. Who else knew about this concept? What was out there for me?
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Why You Can’t Teach Writing

How do you learn to write? You learn by observing and doing, by reading good fiction and making attempts at your own. The truth is that writing is primarily self-taught, that the axiom that you must write a million words is on the mark, and that the first truth is this: To learn to write, you must be writing.

With my students who are writing and thinking about writing, I would have to actively give them bad advice like Play videogames rather than write. Don’t read anything. Only write when you’re in the mood. for them not to get better.
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Critclub a Few Days In

A few days ago, I implemented #Critclub, tying the Chez Rambo Discord server more tightly into the Rambo Academy for Wayward Writers and providing a way for F&SF to swap critiques online. People seem excited about this, and the Patreon … Continue reading

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(Guest Post) R.J. Theodore on Secondary Worlds Without Monocultures: POV, Cultural Perspective, and Worldbuilding

I cut my SFF teeth on Star Trek, and I credit The Next Generation as setting me on the path to becoming an SFF author. But I lament the monocultures encountered on those Starfleet missions as a missed opportunity. Monocultures may catch attention as a hook, but the believability crumbles when the reader has a lengthy stay and finds that they lack real depth.
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Presenting #CritClub

I’m pleased to announce that the Rambo Academy for Wayward Writers is once again expanding its offerings.

The first of the most recent expansions answers a question that writers have expressed to me over and over again in workshops, on panels, in e-mail and one-on-one conversations, including several of the mentoring sessions I did last weekend at DragonCon:

How do I find a writing group of other fantasy and science fiction writers?
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