On writer’s block In the past few days, no less than three people have approached me with questions on writer’s block and how to overcome it. I was planning to talk about something entirely different today, and was saving this subject for a later time, but I think when I get the same question from… Read More When words don’t flow
Writing unforgettable scenes The scene is the single most important thing to master in storytelling. Yes, you have to create vivid, unique and unforgettable characters, and yes, you have to master structure to be able to be able to weave a story that makes any sort of sense, but the bottom line is, if you… Read More Remember the part when…?
The art of evocative description Descriptions are an integral part of any story. They help the reader picture the characters and settings in their minds. But descriptions are a sensitive area, and they are probably the part that is easiest to do very badly. Some descriptions go on forever, others are muddled, and we read… Read More It’s big, and uh… green
The balance between action and exposition I know I promised that this post would be about description, but before I talk about how to make an efficient description, I thought I needed to establish WHEN descriptions might be useful. So today, we’re going to address one of the oldest, most well-known rules of good writing:… Read More Show and tell
The bare bones of the three-act structure For this first post of 2013, I thought it would be good to get back to the basics while pursuing in my series of posts to better understand what makes a good scene. First, a disclaimer. This is by NO MEANS a comprehensive study of structure. When I’m… Read More Laying the foundation
Choosing the right pace This post is a response to a special request. If you would like to special request a post on a particular subject, please click on “Got a question about writing?” in red under the page’s subtitle, and ask your question. All special requests will be treated in the order in which… Read More Story units
A note on genre I recently had a conversation with a student to whom I asked why he was making the choice to speak of space colonies in his story, when his story didn’t need different planets and he didn’t wish to address the colonial aspect. To this, he answered that he wanted to write… Read More It’s a cyberpunk paranormal urban fantasy with like romantic mystery and war
Ensemble casts versus lone protagonists This post is a response to a special request. If you would like to special request a post on a particular subject, please go to icecreamforzombies.tumblr.com and click on “Got a question about writing?” in red under the page’s subtitle, and ask your question. All special requests will be treated… Read More Who’s this about, anyway?
Or, has everything in SF/F been done before? This post is a response to a special request. If you would like to special request a post on a particular subject, please go to icecreamforzombies.tumblr.com and click on “Got a question about writing?” in red under the page’s subtitle, and ask your question. All special requests… Read More Been there, done that
Or, the essential difference between being BELIEVABLE and REALISTIC Science-fiction, fantasy, and paranormal writing expose us to worlds that may be similar or vastly different from our own, but which all share one essential trait: some or all of what goes on in there is not, according to the current understanding of the universe and/or… Read More That’s crazy, but I get it