Tag Archives: catherynne m. valente

Jeff VanderMeer’s Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction

I’ve been following Jeff’s posts about this book, which is a very VanderMeerian approach to writing theory, for a while, and so I danced around a bit when this arrived in yesterday’s mail.
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When Can You Get Away with Wordy Prose?

The following comes from an email exchange between myself and John Barnes, whose story I critiqued and who has given permission to reprint the exchange 🙂 I know that this question often comes up for newer writers. They see writers who write long, elaborate sentences and wonder why they then get criticized for overly long and complicated sentences.
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Writing Progress and Thinking About Frame Stories

The story’s also dependent on a secondary frame story, which I’m not sure about. There’s pieces from the frame used in the actual story itself, which I think makes it feel less superfluous, but I’m also always wary about devices like that. When they work, they’re beautiful – when they don’t, they’re awkward and distracting. So what makes one frame “work” where the next one doesn’t? Continue reading

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