Give your characters something to fear – First Test and Page

A few weeks ago I was reading a book from a series who’s promo text promised “Magic. Romance. Rivals. Perfect for fans of Throne of Glass, Falling Kingdoms, and Tamora Pierce.” And it was feeling familiar. Too familiar. Halfway into the second book I realized why – it had basically the same structure as Tamora Pierce’s Protector of the Small series.

Which, in itself, is not inherently bad.

But this book was doing it badly. Not awfully, just enough to be subtly, and increasingly, annoying. It got so bad I put the book down.

What I’ve been reading – July 2017

July has been the month of new books. I was only expecting three publications this month, but in the end a total of six of my favorite authors all decided to publish something in the last month. I’m still working on how I want to format all of this. Leave a comment below and tell me if this works for you.

A Place to Start – Science Fiction 101

When I was about thirteen, I discovered in the depths of a Vroman’s bargin bin a thick* book with the title: Science Fiction 101. Well that’s clearly a book meant for me, I thought. I had only recently decided that writing was something I’d like to do and this book came with the byline “where to start reading and writing science fiction.” Perfect.

Opening the Writer’s Toolshed

Spend enough time bouncing around writing forums and reading writer’s manuals and you will start encountering a lot of the same advice. One of the biggies – at least for me – has been the suggestion that writers learn best by dissecting writing they admire. It works on the principal that a beginning writer’s taste is already good but their execution still sucks. By breaking down and imitating writitng that they find good, new writers find the building blocks of good writing for themselves and therefore incorporate it into their own writing.

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