Category Archives: Writing

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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Recent News and Changes from Chez Rambo

I’m very pleased to announce that Tor has acquired my recent space fantasy (maybe?), as part of a three book deal, and I’ll be working with Christopher Morgan there. While I’ve had a lot of short stories published traditionally, this is the first novel to go through that, and I’m looking forward to seeing what the process is like.

I’m so pleased by this. The book Tor took was written last October/November as part of a change in my writing routine, and if that routine pays off this well, you better believe I’m going to stick to it. So — up at 5:30 AM and off to the gym, then only writing through 11 AM. I love these characters, who are a lot of fun, and they’ve informed me they’ve got plenty of story to tell.
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Writing Contests and Fees

I recently tweeted this: “PSA/Pro tip: Do not submit to writing contests that charge entry fees. No ifs, ands, or buts.”

Many folks agreed; others wanted to argue a bit. Here’s some of the arguments and my opinion on them. Let us remember here that I am speaking as someone representative of professional writers, and that I have some experience with selling short stories as well as editing and publishing them.
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Hopepunk Thoughts Plus A Reading List

Last year, I came up with a new class, “Punk U: The Whys and Wherefores of Writing -punk Fiction”, which attempted to explore some of the -punk subgenres, starting with cyberpunk and progressing through steampunk, dieselpunk, nanopunk, solarpunk, and a dozen others. Of all of them, the most fascinating to me — and the one that’s had the greatest influence on my recent fiction, is hopepunk.

What is hopepunk? The term was first coined by Alexandra Rowland as the antithesis of “grimdark,” a speculative genre featuring fatalistic nihilism and a tooth vs. claw environment.
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March Recent Efforts

So much is happening — or has already — in March! Including the release of anthology IF THIS GOES ON, teaching videos, and a feminist futures Storybundle in honor of Women’s History Month. Continue reading

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Recent Reading: Wolves, Wives, Knives, Curses, A Hospital, and a Henchgirl

The works read but yet to be reviewed are piling up, so here’s a new roundup to clear away part of the deluge. The Mere Wife by Maria Dahvana Headley is a retelling of Beowulf from the monster’s point of … Continue reading

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Tim Cooper’s The Reader: War For The Oaks

This is my first review for The Green Man Review, but I cannot help but feel I have somehow come full circle from the moment in a 2005 World Fantasy Convention bar when someone kept telling me how much they … Continue reading

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Catherynne M. Valente’s Space Opera

It is difficult to describe how Catherynne M. Valente’s new book Space Opera manages to be so wonderfully resonant of Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy yet so insistently, inimitably her own. And yet, that’s the challenge. Valente’s … Continue reading

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Recent New Processes and the Results: How I’m Managing 5k Words a Day

I came back from PNWA this year inspired by talking to Chris Fox, author of 5,000 Words an Hour, and adopted a new writing process, which has several parts. I want to emphasize that I’m pretty sure this is not … Continue reading

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An Armload of Fur and Leaves

In the last year or so, I found a genre that hadn’t previously been on my radar, but which I really enjoy: furry fiction. Kyell Gold had put up his novel Black Angel on the SFWA member forums, where members … Continue reading

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