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Last night we had the final session of the Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction class, which is the session where we talk about everything except writing: stuff like going to conventions, and how to submit stories, and how to treat editors and what about audio markets and all that sort of thing. And I’d meant to include a section about plotting stories, because I’d taught a new class the day before, the Moving Your Story From Idea to Finished Draft class, and as often happens had come up with some new things to say about stories from thinking about one specific aspect, but there just wasn’t enough time. So I want to talk a little bit about it in a blog post.
For a couple of months now, I’ve been experimenting with using Dragon Dictate for writing, both fiction and nonfiction. In fact, I’m using it to write this post.
I had a wonderful time talking to Shaun Duke and Jen Zink of the Skiffy and Fanty Show last week. The podcast is up here. If you enjoy it and use iTunes, show them a little love with a rating on there.
A reason the interview wa so enjoyable was that they asked really interesting, incisive questions about the stories in Near + Far, in that way a writer desires and dreads at the same time, where they’re seeing some of your psyche’s underpinnings shaping the stories that you create. I’ve been mulling over some of those questions since then, and was thinking about one on the bus home the other day.
You can write anything in fiction. Go for it. No one knows where your life ends and the fictioneering begins, so use the material life gives you freely, gleefully, fully. Face the themes that terrify you and write your fears out without worrying about who will read them. It may not solve them, it may not make them any less scary, but at least you’re using them. And your stories will be so much the better for it.
It’s Friday and the Clarion West Write-a-thon is about to start. So in its honor, here’s a flash piece that appeared in my collection, Eyes Like Sky and Coal and Moonlight. The piece is called “Up The Chimney” and it’s a brief riff on an old fairy tale. Enjoy.
Many of us know the term “infodump,” where a whooooole bunch of information necessary for understanding the story gets thrown at the reader, sometimes in the form of dialogue, sometimes outright chunks of books, or some other form. We want to avoid these because they’re usually dry and a little boring, and because they put readers off. Continue reading
More Dunnett, this time a fight scene that’s as carefully choreographed as her prose. Here Lymond and Jerott are fighting, and it’s soon after Jerott’s ideas of Lymond have been reversed. It doesn’t come out till somewhat after the passage that Lymond is desperately (with Lymond, it’s always desperately) ill with fever. Continue reading
May stats, including words written, submissions sent, and classes taught. Continue reading
I’m headed into the city this evening to hear John Scalzi read from Fuzzy Nation. I’ve loved the Little Fuzzy books (and I’ll note that there’s a bunch of his stuff free for e-readers) since discovering them as a teenager and found a book club edition of the first two this weekend at the thrift store. I’d forgotten what a tear jerker the first one is, and the anti-corporate message seems even more timely than usual. I haven’t read Fuzzy Nation yet, but I’m picking it up today and looking forward to it. I’m also fascinated by the idea that Scalzi’s written fan fiction – it opens up some interesting questions about that debate. Continue reading