World Building 101
Especially for sci-fi and fantasy writers, creating a convincing world is key for immersing readers in your story. The world is the backdrop for your entire narrative, and a truly well-developed world will play a role in the characters’ journeys and drive the story’s conflict.
But world building can be intimidating for new writers. I have to create an entire universe? Yes, it’s a difficult task. But it’s also a lot of fun! You get to create something entirely unique, the perfect home for your characters. What would Harry Potter be without the wizarding world? Or Riddley Walker without the post-apocalyptic world? Let’s talk about how to get started and the most important aspects to consider during world building. ...
Three Surprising Sources of Writing Inspiration
Inspiration strikes in strange and unexpected ways. But when it doesn’t strike, there are lots of tricks to juice it along. Here are three that might surprise you.
StoryCorps creates an archive of oral interviews for future generations. It began in 2003 with a StoryBooth set up in Grand Central Terminal for family members to record their interviews with their elders; the results were archived for the rest of us to hear. These days, StoryCorps encourages the interviews to happen at family dinner tables after Thanksgiving, or anytime, anywhere, thanks to its free smartphone app. ...
5 Writers You Need in Your Tribe
Do yourself a favor: Find your writing tribe! Whether they’re online, in person, or ghosts in the attic, spending time and sharing creativity with other writers will push you toward your goals and keep things fun. Writer brains are different, and we need like-minded people to share our experiences with. Non-writers just can’t understand the euphoria of finishing a draft or that close connection you have with your main characters. Having other writers around makes us feel supported and part of something bigger. Here are five types of writers to have in your tribe. ...Read More
How to Spot a Reputable Lit Mag
After all the time and energy you spend crafting your stories, you want to know the literary magazine you’re submitting to will be a good home for your work. With so many disreputable publications out there, how do you differentiate between high-quality magazines you should be thrilled to get in and poor publications you should run from? Here are a few signs you’ll want to watch for when scouting possible literary magazines to submit to.
Bad Sign: They ask contributors to pay.
Run! You should never be asked to pay to have your work published. Keep in mind...
Recently, I experienced the great delight and terror of being invited to read at my first literary salon, as part of Aberdeen’s Inspiration Point weekend.
But what is a literary salon?
I imagined worthy men of the enlightenment gathering in coffeehouses or smoky backrooms, their faces earnest, talking politics and economics; or refined French ladies lounging on elaborate chaise longue dissecting the literature of the day.
That couldn’t be right? I wouldn’t be expected to lounge on a longue, would I? ...
A Writer’s Last Meal
What would your last meal be? That is always an interesting question and one that folks become unexpectedly heated while …Read More