Two weeks ago, I wrote here about writing short fiction and how the challenges it presents differ from the challenges of writing novels. I want to expand on that a bit, and will use as my jumping off point a comment on that first post from regular site contributor Megan B. In her comment, Megan wrote (in part):
I think it’s worth considering that a short story set in a larger universe (e.g. the Thieftaker world, which you have established already in longer form) is a different beast than a stand-alone short story. It has it’s own advantages and challenges because it uses some people, places or concepts that the reader may or may not be familiar with.
On the one hand I think that Megan is absolutely correct: writing a short in an established world certainly makes the author’s job easier. In part this is just a matter [...]
Continue reading On Writing: Short Fiction and Worldbuilding
I sold my first novel in 1994 — it took three years for that first book to find its way to print, but that’s a topic for a different post. The sale itself came in ‘94. My first short fiction sale came seven years later, and in the intervening years I met many aspiring writers who had sold short stories but were still waiting for that first novel sale. They envied me my contracts with Tor. Some of them probably resented me just a little.
I was grateful for the novel sale — even from the small advance on that first book, and even with my agent at the time taking his 15% of that tiny advance, I still made way, way more on my one novel than some of those folks did on four, or five, or even six short story sales. But the truth is that as much [...]
Continue reading On Writing: Why I Love Writing Short Fiction
James R. Tuck
Hey hey everybody, nice to see you, glad you could come out. Drinks are in the back,be sure to tip your waitress, she works hard for the money.
I’m James R. Tuck, author of the Deacon Chalk series from Kensington, and I’m the new guy.
I’ve been here before. Faith has been ever so kind to me and allowed me to guest post here when my series launched. I’ve lurked the comments and the posts also because this place rocks. But now, NOW, they’ve given me a key and let me hang my hat.
Muwah ha ha.
Today I’m going to talk to you about story ideas. Not where you get them, if you’re a writer then you have ideas falling out of your pockets when you sit down, but where you get good ideas. You know the ideas, the ones that make you smack yourself for not thinking of [...]
Continue reading THE TWIST (new spins on old stories)
Happy New Year Everyone! I am so glad to see 2012 go I can hardly stand it. Whew.
This is likely to be the last InfoDump segment, unless I get inspired. We’ll see. This entire series (1,2,3, and now 4) has been an example of how to take info and use to further the scene, the character development, and the plot with the info, rather than let it slow the plot down.
Some of these *info things* we always need in a novel, and some would be at the direction of an editor, requested in the textual rewrite letter. This is what happened to me when the acquisitions editor wanted world-building before the first action scene. I like action scenes, so I wrote an *almost action scene* into the 28 page new first chapter, using it to further the info-world-building.
Here is that partial list of the editor’s requirements [...]
Continue reading The InfoDump Scene, Part 4.
The reader needs the info. They need it badly. They need it now. But if we, the writers, put down all the info that the reader needs, it will become an info dump. We *never* use infodumps! Right? Ummm. Well. Never is a long time. This series is an indepth look into alternatives to the dreaded dump. (Stop laughing. This is not a Kaopectate commercial.)
We started off on this series with a partial list of world-building questions my editor for the first Rogue Mage book, BloodRing, wanted answered in the first 50 pages. Last time we talked about using emotion and the character’s reactions to show the reader that the info is important, and to use the info being dumped to develop the character.
Here is a partial list of the editor’s requirements (updated with more) from week one of the series:
How does the world work in the physical [...]
Continue reading The InfoDump Scene, Part 3.
I am late today. Sorry for that. Actually, I thought today was not my day because I’ve lost track of time. That sounds lame, even to me, but unfortunately, it’s true. For many reasons, I am in the doldrums of the year, part of the ebb and flow of time and emotion and family. First, it’s fall. I adore fall, with the lengthening of night and the shortening of day. It feels as if time slows and gives me more moments to reflect, to snuggle in early, to pile up on the couch with the dogs and the Hubby. Night becomes a reason to push away work and not think of deadlines. I love fall, but this year it’s not so lovely, and because I’ve become friends with so many of you, I have decided to share the reasons why with you, and how life has changed my writing.
On July [...]
Continue reading Reasons NOT To Be A Writer