Big Changes to My Patreon!

Hello all!  As you can see, it’s been a while since I posted anything here.  To be honest, it was because I was getting quite discouraged.  I wasn’t seeing a lot of Patron support, and I kept receiving criticisms that I should separate my geeky and fiction writerly stuff from my Pagan stuff, because people […]

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For SF&F Writers. Building Believable Worlds Part 4: Antagonists and Enemies

Notes From The Slush Pile

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Lets talk bad guys. Most stories have one. Well crafted or otherwise, speculative fiction is full of them. Not that any one actual character is essential as the obstacle the protagonist has to overcome. Sometimes its simply the environment they’re in, other times its a whole alien species in the vein of StarshipTroopers or Ender’s Game. Maybe the story is more reflective, and the protagonist is on a voyage of self-discovery in which the only real obstacle to them achieving their goal is themselves.

While reading for Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores, I’ve come across all of the above, and they each have their own merits and drawbacks. The main trade off I’ve found with stories of these types is that they tend to be able to bring forth more intellectually complex and morally ambiguous plot development than the simple good vs. evil narrative, but in doing so…

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7 Tension Building Tips for Writing Action Scenes

One of my alpha readers sent me this link about writing action scenes (which I suppose indicates she didn’t like my action scene).  But I took it under advisement and the advice is good, so I thought I would share!

The best writers know how to create action scenes that cause readers to fly through the pages, dying to know what happens next. As a reader, I lose myself in the action and forget to notice how the author had me spellbound. I savor the moment until I’ve turned the very last page.

As a writer, I wonder how that author did it. How did he or she create such effective action?

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For SF&F Writers: Speculative Elements Should Be Used Selectively

Some advice from a First Reader of sci-fi and fantasy.

Notes From The Slush Pile

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So submissions for Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores reopened recently, and I’ve already spotted a trend in the Slush Pile irritating enough to make me jump back into the blog, despite still being on holiday. Unconvincing and poorly written characters and settings can ruin any story. I covered various ways to avoid this in my recent BuildingBelievableWorldsposts. As a First Reader and lover of all things speculative, a deciding factor for me in rejecting a story is when the science fiction or fantasy elements of are poorly developed and unnecessary to the actual plot.

Writers looking to avoid this should ask themselves what the point of their given element is. For example, why is a story being set on a space station if it just has the characters walking around and talking to one another? They could still do that very easily if they weren’t in space…

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