Author Archives: Cat
If you’re familiar with C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia, you may know what I’m quoting in the title. In the final book of the series, The Last Battle, there is a group of dwarves who believe in their cause so strongly that they cannot perceive reality. There are multiple interpretations of the dwarves, particularly given how prone to Christian allegory Lewis’s work is, but I think they hold a lesson for those of us witnessing and/or participating in arguments on the Internet.
This year, I’m again participating in the Clarion West Writeathon. A lot of people are driving pledges with backer incentives. Here’s mine: I plan to complete one story each week. At the end of the six weeks, all backers will … Continue reading
“Hey, how about that SFWA mess?” my brother asked in an e-mail.
I winced, because I knew exactly what he meant. In my capacity as the lead of the moderating team on the SFWA internal forums, I’d been reading about it for the past few days – and working to keep the discussion — on those boards, at least — somewhat sane. There was a whole lot of shouting going on. And some of it, I think, could be avoided if some of the shouters had actually taken the time to listen to (by which I mean read) what was being said.
Once you’ve mastered the basics of getting words on a page and moving characters around through situations, there’s some things that (in my experience) the majority of writers need to focus on. Examples are narrative grammar, paragraphing strategies, trimming excess from sentences, and getting inside a character’s head. Here, I’m going to discuss the last of those.
A lot of this is taken from correspondance with my student Hasnain. He’d asked about story structures, particularly Freitag’s Triangle, and we’d discussed where the triangle occurs in Junot Diaz’s story, Fiesta 1980. In looking at his most recent story, I’d said I thought he needed to get inside his main character’s head more.
On some other boards I frequent, the question of how to make a publication more diverse has been coming up. Here’s a couple of pieces related to that. The editors of Tin House and Granta discuss how they worked to make their publications more diverse. Anne Finch talks about similar editorial practices. For a breakdown of what the gender ratio was of book reviewers and books reviewed, see the 2012 VIDA count.
I blogged about Nightshade last week, and since then there’s been a number of developments, including modification of the contracts that were so crappy. Authors should be feeling a little happier, at least.
But, I wanted to point to another group that’s involved in this and which is getting worse treatment than the authors, which is the production crew.