Tag Archives: michael swanwick

On Clarion and Privilege and the Internets

People are, understandably, saying that the equation clarion + student = pro writer is not the only way you can reach that particular sum, and they are absolutely correct, although the drama is — as is often the case on the Internet — a bit hyperbolic.

This is the fact of F&SF writing — there are people disadvantaged by gender, or race, or sexuality or other physical circumstances. But there’s also a big group — which contains a disproportionate number of those differing physically — affected by economic issues. Continue reading

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On Writing: Have an Impact on the Reader

“The whole point of a short story is to assassinate the reader. You don’t have the time or the space to go to war or do large maneuvers, you can’t do chapters of elaborate setup, there’s much less room for character development—a good writer can get more character development in, but that isn’t my particular strength. Anyway, everything in the short story has to drive toward a short sharp point, whatever it is you’re trying to leave the reader with at the end of the story.” -Yoon Ha Lee
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Ten Impulses Towards Flash, Part I

I talked yesterday about flash fiction, what it is and why writers might want to write some. I mentioned that it’s a great place to try out new techniques. So here’s five possible things to focus on in a flash piece, with five more coming on Monday. Pick one and sit down and write the story. How long should it be? That’s entirely your call. Continue reading

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Pages Breathing Fire: 10 Books About Dragons

Dragons, dragons, dragons – so many writers have written about them in one form or another. Here’s ten books featuring dragons for fellow lovers of the form. Continue reading

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Why Titles Matter

The writer can’t afford to throw away the possibilities of the title, there’s just too much chance to set the hook in the reader there with the right cast. Make your lure beautiful, jingly with poetic principles, flashy or intricate or if you’re among the most daring, something so simple and beautiful in its form that it’s irresistible. Load it with the sensory or weight it with muscular verbs, but make it pull the reader in so your first three paragraphs can render them helpless and absorbed and yours for the story. Continue reading

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