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Author Archives: Cat
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?
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.
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
(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.
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?
Some deaths hit you like a broken bone. That sharp. That painful. They stick with you, hurting even when healing, a dull throb keeping you from sleeping; a startled, knifeslash pang when jostled. And you know that, decades later, it’ll … Continue reading
I’m the Industry Guest of Honor at the inaugural Multiverse, an Atlanta-based fan-focused convention celebrating science fiction & fantasy in all media, this October. The other guests of honor are Seanan McGuire and John Picacio, and the full list of … Continue reading
Let me introduce myself. I’m Joshua Palmatier, a fantasy author with DAW Books, but also the founder of the small press Zombies Need Brains (considered a professional market by SFWA). We publish SF&F themed anthologies, using Kickstarters to generate the funds … Continue reading
From Octavia Butler, author of multiple Nebula- and Hugo-award-winning novels, to longtime Star Trek scriptwriter David Gerrold, LGBT+ creators have long played a major part in steering the direction of speculative fiction. And the canon has never been more diverse … Continue reading
Friday 7 pm: Opening Ceremonies [Ballroom] Participants: Tobias Buckell, Michael Longcor, Cat Rambo, Kevin Hayes (M) Saturday 10 am to noon: Writers Workshop for 10 Participants: Cat Rambo Saturday 2 pm: Beginnings and Endings [Commonwealth East] (moderator) Participants: Cat Rambo … Continue reading