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Guest Post: The Importance of Words by Jeffery Viles

29 Dec

Words are not just important, they are the key invention of Homo sapiens, which  separates us by miles from the other animals here on planet earth.  With our complex languages and  hundreds of  thousands of words, we describe things we can see and touch and things we only imagine.  What is in front of us and what is not. The trick is to string words together in clear sentences that tell a story, an imaginative vision, or a descriptive picture.  For me, the challenge is to use surprising and creative language within those sentences to catch the reader’s attention — to make the effort an entertainment for both  writer and reader. Continue reading

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Guest Post: Things I Wish I Knew When I Started – Thoughts on Finishing a Trilogy by Jacey Bedford

25 Oct

I committed trilogy accidentally—twice!

It all started back in 2013 when I sold my first book to DAW and on the back of that sale was offered a three book deal for EMPIRE OF DUST (science fiction), WINTERWOOD (fantasy), and a sequel to Empire, CROSSWAYS (sold on the basis of a one page synopsis). Wow, it was the offer of my dreams; a fabulous speculative fiction publisher was paying me to do what I loved doing best—making up stories.

In the bad-old (but fun) unpublished days, I’d made the classic mistake of starting to write a trilogy without having sold Book One, only to realise that the two years of work put into Book Two was a waste of time. I was never going to sell Book Two before I’d sold Book One. That should have been obvious, of course, but I was having such fun writing it that I never really stood back and asked myself what I was doing. Continue reading

Guest Post: Tremontaine’s Karen A. R. Lord shares her Philosophy of the Sword

18 Oct

This blog post originally appeared at Serial Box, where you can find serialized fiction released in episodes week after week. Karen Lord is one of the writers on Tremontaine season 3.

Tremontaine is the critically acclaimed prequel to Ellen Kushner’s beloved Riverside novels, which developed a cult following beginning with Swordspoint in 1987. The “Fantasy of Manners” focuses on decadent world building and interpersonal intrigue, and has been noted for its progressive expression of gender and sexuality. Team-written by some of today’s most exciting authors, Tremontaine season 3 is brought to you by Ellen Kushner, Joel Derfner, Karen Lord, Delia Sherman, Racheline Maltese, Paul Witcover, Tessa Gratton, and Liz Duffy Adams. The first episode is available for free at Serial Box and can be found here.


Being a writer is like being a director with a crowd of characters demanding ‘So, what’s my motivation?’ Like real-life actors, they don’t always listen when you tell them your plans, which is why flexible plots and rewrites are a part of my process.

It’s a process that works when I’m writing a book by myself, but a joint writing project like Tremontaine is a different beast. The world belongs to Ellen Kushner, the characters belong to Ellen and the full team of Tremontaine writers, and being on the same page is not a mere metaphor, but an absolute necessity. The Tremontaine writers are passionate about the world and the characters, and it’s been an exciting experience to work with them. Continue reading

Behind the Scenes of the Clan Chronicles Take 3: The Science by Julie Czerneda (Guest Post)

5 Oct

 

On a previous stop on my tour, I began answering readers’ questions about the series’ content. On another, about my writerly process. Last, and far from least, comes the group about the science beneath my work. For those unfamiliar, my background and passion is biology, plus space science, occasional physics, geology, chemistry…it’s all so FUN, there isn’t time in a life. A very good thing, therefore, that I write SF. Continue reading

Guest Post by Stephanie Burgis: Alternate History: Taking a New Path

15 Sep

I love historical fantasy, both as a reader and a writer – which won’t surprise anyone who’s read any of my first five novels. Three of them (forming the Kat, Incorrigible trilogy) were frothy, fun MG adventures set in Regency England; two of them (Masks and Shadows and Congress of Secrets) were dark, romantic adult fantasies set at different historical points in the Habsburgs’ Austro-Hungarian empire.

My first three MG novels and my first two adult novels have been very different in tone from each other, but there was one thing all five of those novels had in common: They all approached historical fantasy as a secret history, in which magic worked discreetly behind the scenes of our real history books. (For instance, the opera house at Eszterháza Palace really did burn down in the historical year I wrote about in Masks and Shadows – but in reality, I very much doubt it was burned down by an act of dark alchemy! Or at least…that certainly wasn’t the official explanation that landed in any of the history books I read. 😉 )
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