So, continuing the trend and closing up the month (as next week it will be December), I am marking another week of NaNoWriMo with a little helpful advice to first time authors who may be taking the first step into the literary world this month. If you’re reading this on some other month, welcome, hope it’s helpful to you too in the far flung future. So far, if you’re late to the show, I’ve covered Mystery and Science-Fiction, two of the genres in my novel series Agent of Argyre. But today it’s time for the third major component to my stories: Fantasy!
But I’m sure at this point you realize how silly it is to give advice on how to create Fantasy stories. The beauty of Fantasy is that there are literally no rules to it. You can do anything you want to do in a Fantasy story so long as you have good storytelling and charming characters. This makes it one of the best genres for a lot of people who are just starting. Still, there is some room for me to be opinionated and throw unsolicited advice your way: How do you keep it fresh?
Fantasy has to be one of, if not the, oldest genres of fiction in human history. Even before the written word we were telling each other fanciful tales around the fire in the late evening hours. Folklore and mythology don’t just influence Fantasy – they were part of it. So it’s daunting for people to take that much history and be able to add their own mark to it. How do we do it?
Continue reading 5 Writing Tips for Original Fantasy
In the spirit of NaNoWriMo, I’ve begun sharing what I’ve learned while tackling my first two novels. And, while you may not be reading this back in November, I figure it’ll still be helpful whenever you are looking this way. Last week I addressed Mystery. But the fact is that Mystery isn’t the only genre present in those two novels. Anyone who has read my novels will know that they’re something of a genre mash-up. Though they’re primarily crime novels centering on murders and conspiracies, they’re also very focused on Fantasy and Science Fiction.
To me, the combination is natural. As Arthur C Clarke once said, any sufficiently advanced science will appear to be magic. So the reverse would be true as well, any magical thing could probably be explained via science. It’s because of this that I felt it was easy to take creatures such as werewolves and vampires and use the odd quirks of biology to explain some of their traits. In my eyes this makes them more fantastic because it makes it plausible that they could exist in the same world we do.
So when I once heard from agents and publishers that the weakest link of Science Fiction was the “science” part I started a series of posts devoted to the genre. But I’m not so blindly devoted to Sci-fi that I believe it can do no wrong. Science Fiction has produced some incredibly bad works for a variety of reasons. In the end, I think it has more to do with how writers approach the genre than it has to do with the genre itself. And so, in an effort to improve the future of Sci-Fi, I now lay down some helpful advice for those of you just starting to step into that world of endless possibilities.
Continue reading 5 Writing Tips For Good Science Fiction
For a long time I was uncomfortable with the idea of trying to teach anyone about the art of writing. Anyone who reads blogs about writing is often a writer themselves, after all. So what exactly could I teach someone who should have as much or more experience than me?
As a result, I spend most of my time on this blog trying to entice people into the world I’ve created by doing tongue-in-cheek in-universe articles about creatures that wander my world. But today I realized, since this is National Novel Writing Month, a lot of people right here and now are writing their very first novel. Not only that, but I’ve realized after some experience tutoring in screenwriting that not everyone who has had formal education in writing comes away with the same information. There are some things that people miss until experience and experimentation point it out to them. So, given that I’ve written two novels, there just might be something I can show a new writer that they haven’t thought of yet.
So, in the spirit of NaNoWriMo, I present writing tips today for one of the genres I’ve tackled: Mysteries.
Continue reading Five Tips For Writing A Solid Mystery
In the Alters’ World (and the series of books found here), creatures of legend reveal themselves to the world. Born through genetic abnormalities, defects and mutations, the Alters have lived for centuries as outcasts of human society, hiding their true nature from the world while colorful stories have been written by many to describe what they’ve seen. How are these creatures different from what was described in the stories? What relationship do they have with humanity? Every entry of the Alterpedia will delve into a new creature from around the world. This week, to continue from last week we’re covering:
As the days of the dead come to an end and the veil between the living and the dead supposedly strengthens once again, the question still goes unanswered: Just what did you feel moving in the night as the ghostly apparition floated out of the corner of your eye?
|We all know the dangerous one is Christina Ricci
With the revelation that many other creatures of the night have been real entities it has become harder to deny that the possibility of ghosts may be entirely accurate. But the other creatures are flesh and blood it would be easy to wonder just how these things could possibly exist in a rational world.
So do they really?
Continue reading Alterpedia: Ghosts (part 2)