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Pro tips for writing and publishing speculative fiction

All fiction is speculative to some extent, posing a “what-if” question, which serves as the premise and drives the plot. But for fantasy author Kij Johnson, winner of both the Hugo and Nebula Award, the specific genre of speculative fiction adds its own special writing challenges: “A brilliant speculative story is harder to write than a brilliant realistic story, because it must do all the same things mainstream literature does – characterization, language, theme, and all the rest – and also, it needs to meet the requirements of the genre: accurate science, plausible worldbuilding, and the physiological triggers essential to a horror story.”

Book writing service gives veterans a way to preserve their stories

Story Terrace is giving vets a discount so that they can write books based on their lives and experiences. The company is calling it the "Speak and Listen" campaign. "My grandfather was in the resistance in the Netherlands (in WWII), and I regret not recording his stories," says Story Terrace CEO Rutger Bruining. "That's why I think it's really important for the entire family that these stories are kept and retold, so people remember what happens."

Bad Habits

Are These Bad Habits Creeping Into Your Writing?

Many writers rely more heavily on pronouns than I’d suggest is useful. For me this sort of thing comes under the heading Remember that Writing Is Not Speaking. When we talk, we can usually make ourselves understood even amid a flood of vague “he”s and “she”s. On the page, too many pronouns are apt to be confounding.

Novel Writing

How to Write a Novel: A 12-Step Guide

You may be surprised to know that even after writing over 190 books (two-thirds of those novels) over the last 40 years, 21 of them New York Times bestsellers (most notably the Left Behind Series), I deal with those exact problems every time. So how do I overcome them and succeed?

Places that want your work

Not sure where to send those great short stories you’ve written?

As with writing contests and fellowships, sometimes it can be hard to know where to begin. To help you figure out where to submit short stories, we’ve put together this guide to 23 publications that publish short fiction...

Free Contests

31 Free Writing Contests: Legitimate Competitions With Cash Prizes

When I was about 12, I saw an ad in a magazine for a poetry contest that sounded fancy and impressive, something like “International Library of Poetry.” I bled poetry at that age, so I crossed my fingers and sent in a poem I’d been slaving over for weeks.

Weekly Writing Contests

Weekly Writing Contests

Free Writing Contests is your source for a listing of 2019 writing contests that you can enter. The largest collection of writing contests - hand-picked for writers of all skill levels. Your online location for an updated list of writing contests from around the world delivered daily.

Kindle Formatting

What Are The Ways To Format An e-Book for Kindle

You feel all the satisfaction, but there is still something that has you didn’t do, and that is publishing the book and recei...

Want To Write A Memoir? Start Writing Your Story

It seems everyone is writing their memoirs today. Whether you sell yours to a publisher or self-publish it, you might wonder what the difference is between writing your memoir or just your story? It’s in the focus.

BookBub

BookBub

BookBub is a free service that helps millions of readers discover limited-time deals on acclaimed ebooks. Members receive a personalized daily email alerting them to the best free and deeply discounted titles matching their interests as selected by our editorial team. BookBub can be used with all major ebook retailers and devices.

Patreon

How to Crowdfund Your Writing With Patreon

Many writers dream of quitting their day jobs and becoming full-time freelancers. And while that is achievable, it’s a difficult prospect for poets, playwrights and midlist fiction writers. Writing organizations such as the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America consider a minimum professional rate for fiction to be six cents a word. Many novels only receive advances of $5,000–$10,000.

Video Games

How to Write a Video Game Story

My first attempt at writing a video game script begins with the socialist journalist and activist Marina Ginesta, a remarkabl...

Fiction University

Fiction University

Each week, I’ll offer a writing tip you can take and apply to your WIP to help improve it. They’ll be easy to do and shouldn’t take long, so they’ll be tips you can do without taking up your Sunday. Though I do reserve the right to offer a good tip now and then that will take longer—but only because it would apply to the entire manuscript.

eBooks

Make Big Money Writing Fiction

Recently my friend Charlie Martin wrote a post about how ebooks are a complete game changer for publishing, a fact that traditional publishers are still bent on denying. In fact, for the last ...

Better content

6 tips for writing better content

You will be faster, rapper and more creative and the habit in itself will give you more ideas for you even when you are not w... 6 tips for writing better content You will be faster, rapper and more creative and the habit in itself will give you more ideas for you even when you are not w...

Novel Writing

How to Write a Novel: A 12-Step Guide

You may be surprised to know that even after writing over 190 books (two-thirds of those novels) over the last 40 years, 21 of them New York Times bestsellers (most notably the Left Behind Series), I deal with those exact problems every time. So how do I overcome them and succeed?

Guide

‘Dreyer’s English’ is a witty and useful writing guide

Some of his advice is aimed specifically at people who write fiction, but overall the book ... age of ten who is not actively ...

Bellow

Writing Advice from Saul Bellow

Bellow is still the only writer to have been awarded the National Book Award for Fiction three times—he also nabbed a Pulitzer, a National Medal of Arts, and of course, the Nobel Prize...

Choctaw historian at KU restoring cultural knowledge through fiction

The prolific author juggles her time between being a professor, writing (both fiction and nonfiction), and advocating for healthy eating in the Native American community, among many other interests. Mihesuah, a Choctaw historian, is KU’s Cora Lee Beers Price Teaching Professor in International Cultural Understanding. Her 17th book,..

 

Punch Up the Volume

Punch Up the Volume in Your Writing

Let your brain imagine the sounds. Your writing needs sonic textures. Lucky for me, the MFA program let us take poetry and fiction workshops. So I spent a lot of time in coffee shops reading ...

eBooks

What I Learned While Writing a Novel

It’s just that this morning I finished a work of fiction I have been working on since I was 18 ... as the lifeline keeping me afloat in the turbulent ocean of my life. Writing out the outlines, ...

Teen Fiction

How to Write Original Creative Writing Essays:

Complete Guide for Arts Essays Other forms of fictitious creative writing include; short stories, poems, hybrid essays, dramatic monologues, plays and flash fiction. However, all creative essays have one thing in common ...

New-Age Fiction

Keep it short on new-age medium with new-age writing

Flash fiction can be considered a prototype to ... pen-wielders who easily lose heart from the novel or story they begin writing, Instagram poetry and ttt is just the thing for you.

Fan Fiction

6 Ways That Fanfiction Makes Your Writing Stronger

It works in the realm of original fiction just as well—if you’re writing within a universe you’ve already invented, you are doing precisely the same work as if you’re writing prompt fanfic, with the ...

Hometownreads

Local Authors

At first glance the website seems but a simple collecting point for local authors who might otherwise only be found on Amazon or discovered at some random book signing event. You won’t find big name authors, but a growing list of largely unknown local authors from cities across the country. Like you, they have dreamed of, written and published stories near and dear to their hearts.

Free SFF

Get Amazing SFF Reads (for Free!)

Tor.com is home to an award-winning short fiction program, with over a decade of weekly stories for science fiction, fantasy, and horror fans to enjoy.

We want to make reading our stories even easier by offering a brand new short fiction-only newsletter. Subscribers will get two months’ worth of short fiction delivered to their inboxes in multiple digital formats on a bimonthly basis

Strong Verbs

How To Use Strong Verbs To Sharpen Your Writing

If you want to learn the precise difference between the terms strong and weak verbs, it can be a little confusing. There are a few ways to determine the strength of verbs. There is a linguistic basis, the simple contrast between active and static verbs as well as a literary definition. In a general sense, action verbs are strong, and we use them to make verbs more interesting.

Self-Publish

How To Promote A Book Online In 4 Clearly Explained Steps

If you self-publish, you need a plan to promote your book online. If you want to succeed at self-publishing, you are on your own. Writing a great book is one thing, but selling it is another. Amazon, Apple, Kobo and all the other ebook and book retailers are not going to promote your books.

Mel

Tips to help you write fantasy, from author Melinda Salisbury

Because the object of fiction is to make the reader forget themselves for a little while. Think of writing a book as a game you’re playing with a reader – you can only win if they stop living in the ...

Dean

Humanising a Cold Case Victim

Two Australian books were published last year about a brutal murder that happened in Melbourne in 1930: the non-fiction A Scandal in Bohemia: The Life and Death of Mollie Dean by Gideon Haigh, and The Portrait of Molly Dean, Katherine Kovacic’s first novel.

Help an author (and fellow readers) by posting a thoughtful book review online

One of the most generous things you can do for the author of a book is to write a review and post it on Amazon.com or ...

Smart Story

Tell Me a Smart Story: On Podcasts, Videos, and Websites as Writing Assignments

About two years ago at my university, I designed a minor in the medical humanities. At its core was a class that introduced students to medical topics from the perspectives of the humanities and social sciences. When it came to designing assignments that would show how well they understood such varied concepts, I decided to go out on a pedagogical limb...

One Month

How to Write Your Novel in a Single Month

There are so many ways to write a novel. I’ve talked about how if you’re pressed for time, you can always find 10 to 20 minutes a day and write a little bit. If you write 200 words a day, you can complete a novel in just one year!

First Novel

How To Write Your First Novel In Your 40s

With Linda Holmes If you know NPR’s Linda Holmes, it’s probably not as a novelist. She’s a public radio pop culture correspondent, she co-hosts NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast and her recalcitrant dog Brian is ...

Name Tag

Prosopagnosia or The Value of a Nametag

Have you ever gone to a class, of any kind, and been asked to wear a name tag? What was your reaction? Did you think it was silly because you were never going to see those people again, or you didn't like being treated like a child. I hate to admit I've had those same thoughts. Now think about how good it makes you feel when you walk into a meeting, or restaurant, and someone calls you by name. It makes you feel good, like you are valuable and you have something to offer or gain by being there.

Lists

The Expert’s Guide to Writing Book Recommendation Lists

It is as inevitable as the green sky above us, the annual migration of the giant oak trees, and the monthly return of the ...

Assume Nothing

Assume Nothing

is a collection of short mysteries about four ordinary women, who find themselves in extra-ordinary situations, while looking for the truth. Each story can be read in a couple of hours while on a beach, an airplane, by the pool, next to a fire on a cold winter afternoon or sitting in a comfy chair with a steaming cup of coffee, tea or a glass of your favorite wine. 

Top 10 tips on writing a first novel by Gaby Koppel

Having just released her debut novel Reparation, Gaby Koppel wants to inspire other budding authors. She's poured her heart and soul into this emotional tale, and is now here with ten essential pieces of advice for when it comes to her fellow writers publishing their first novel.

7 Things Separate Those Who Write That Book Inside Them From Those Who Only Dream About

It's something many dream of. Ask around your office who wants to write a book someday, to share (and monetize) their knowledge, and you'll be astonished. I've written several business books and I remember an editor telling me: "80 percent want to write a book--only a fraction actually do."

Podcasts

20 Inspiring Writing Podcasts to Subscribe to Right Now

For writers looking to bust writer’s block, hone their craft or spice up a boring commute, there’s no shortage of podcasts from amateurs and experts alike. Here, we’ve compiled 20 writing-related podcasts worth subscribing to ...

8 Tips For Writing A Mystery Novel

There are so many different sub-genres of mystery. You’ve got your cozy mystery, you’re courtroom drama, whodunit stories, and much more. Which sub-genre does your mystery fall under? Sure, you can mix them up, but it always helps to define what kind of mystery you’re writing about.

The Only Book You Need if You Want to Write a Nonfiction Book

Writing a book can be one of the smartest things you do for your career if you're a professional, CEO, or entrepreneur. More and more successful professionals are realizing this. Most are also realizing that the purpose of these books is not to be "bestsellers" or to sell millions of copies. Instead, the purpose of these books are to powerfully speak to their niche audience, to get high-priced clients, or to position themselves or their business differently.

Find Your Voice and Keep It

The writer’s goal is to evoke emotion. To ensure the audience smiles laughs, cries, becomes angry or hurts for the characters that they’ve created and the storyline they’ve developed. All writers/authors hope to fulfill this role successfully. Success can mean many things; dollars as in unit sales, emails from fans, parents reaching out and aspiring writers looking for tips and advice, book signings, and paid speaking engagements.

NNWM

How to Get the Most Out of National Novel Writing Month

Embrace your messy first draft and commit to NaNoWriMo’s boot-camp vibe. Four years ago, Jasmine Guillory was an aspiring novelist with an idea and an outline, but she was stuck in a creative rut. When a friend asked if she would be up for a writing challenge of putting 50,000 words down in one month, she immediately said yes.

"The book was difficult" - Kelly-Eve Koopman on writing 'Because I Couldn't Kill You'

Before writing this book, I was not a fan of creative non-fiction. I put fiction on a pedestal. When I started writing the memoir I realised how close fiction and memory are and how they can be one and the same thing. I am a South African, born just shy of free. You'd think I'd realise how easily fabricated narratives become history. For me the experience of navigating through the personal was a lot like this. I felt like a magpie of my own consciousness, scavenging through things.

25 Creative Writing Prompts

Don’t you just hate writer’s block? Some say it’s a disease that only creative workers succumb to. Some say it’s a curse. Others argue that it doesn’t exist at all. But just about everyone has been there–sitting in front of a blank screen, fingers itching to create a masterpiece. And nothing happens.

Screenwriting

Book Writing and Screenwriting Parallels

Storytelling is Storytelling! “Trust your own instinct. Your mistakes might as well be your own, instead of someone else’s.” – Billy Wilder

Accents

How to write accents and dialects: 6 tips

Learn how to write accents and dialects in your stories because it will help you write about crosscurrents between people and places. Regional dialects help to convey a sense of local character speech in stories.

Alex

Observations of Alex Perch

Was the stoplight really green? From which way was the wind blowing from this morning? When was the last time you located the Big Dipper in the evening sky? In this hectic world of ours odds are you were not able to answer any of the above questions.

 

 

Past Events:

How to

April 27, 2019 -- How to LCRW ...

How to use the LCRW toolbox. The Writer's Market. LCRWriters. LCRWORG Google Groups.

The biggest advantage of having a Web presence is it gives us the advantage of using the Writer's Market, LCRWriters, LCRWORG Google Groups to assist us in advancing our writing ability and goals. This is an instructional session on using these tools.

 
Story

May 25, 2019 -- David Woodruff, How to Write and Tell a Great Story

Great stories have common threads, not considering if they are books, movies or just stories one tells around the water cooler. This is a discussion of the principles of myth used to create masterful stories which are dramatic, entertaining and psychologically true. This is a look at how storytellers can utilize mythic structure to create powerful narratives.

 
Critque

June 22, September 24, November 22, 2019 -- Critique Session

LCRW will present the second of three critique sessions. Works of up to 2500 words in any genre will be reviewed by group members with feedback and comments. Facilitator: Steve Yates.

 
Memoir

July 27, 2019 -- Memoir: The Story of You

Why write about your life experience? Who is in charge of your story? What are the benefits of examining significant events and sharing them with others? With whom do you want to share your story? In this workshop we’ll discuss some of the knotty questions that memoir writers ponder, as well as respond to writing prompts that will help you unpack your personal journey. Come ready to participate!

 
Stories

August 24, 2019 -- Elements of a Story

This is the follow up to How to Write and Tell a Great Story. This covers the details of storytelling specifically for the writer. It simplifies the Joseph Campbell hero’s journey to a single-story circle. It covers creating and writing interesting characters. The best types of opening lines for a story and fills out the process with real examples from both film and the written word.

 
Community Christian Church

Confrence: October 26, 2019

LCRW group provides support and encouragement to writers of all genres and levels through this special conference, as well as through its monthly meetings.

Community Christian Church 2647 Chili Ave, Rochester, NY 14624
Cost: $40 ($45 after 10/18)

 
Controverial Topics

November 23 -- Kate Collier, Discussion of Writing Controversial Topics

In fiction, sensitive or divisive topics can be hard to write, especially when you are passionate about your characters and theme or consider certain scenes and actions essential to the plot. How do you to make an impact with a character or situation without alienating segments of your intended audience?

 
 

 

 

 

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