Posts

Illustration for "Everything You Have Seen" by Karsen Slater

Imagination

New York Times bestselling author and Coordinating Judge for the Writers of the Future Contest Dave Farland gives tips on writing, taking up the subject of imagination and originality.

Dr. Yoji Kondo

On Writing Science Fiction by Dr. Yoji Kondo

“On Writing Science Fiction” is an article by Dr. Yoji Kondo with tips on writing. It originally appeared in Writers of the Future Volume 14.

Small child giving soldier a ball

Character Traits

Frequently authors ask if I have a “form” that I used to help me critique a story. Given the large number of things that I look at in a story, any form that I had would simply be too long to be workable. Yet it makes sense to try to codify the critiquing process.

Thumbs up

A Guide to Critiquing a Story: Seven Vital Elements Every Story Must Have

Frequently authors ask if I have a “form” that I used to help me critique a story. Given the large number of things that I look at in a story, any form that I had would simply be too long to be workable. Yet it makes sense to try to codify the critiquing process.

Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle at a book signing

Building Plausible Futures by Jerry Pournelle

This article by Dr. Jerry Pournelle was originally published in Writers of the Future Volume III. Timeless advice then and now.

Now, back to the story.

Back to the Story

What defines “good” writing when it comes to a story? That’s a question that I have to ask time and again as I’m judging contest entries.

Girl at a typewriter

Avoiding Cliché Openings

Many years ago, Damon Knight, a fine writer and editor, wrote a book on how to write short fiction. Damon talked a bit about avoiding clichés.

Jake Marley being interviewed at LA Festival of Books

Persevere

It’s been nearly a year since I found out I was a finalist for L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future contest, and very nearly five months since I was announced as the 2017 Golden Pen Award winner. To say my life has changed feels like an understatement.

Anker Grossvater painting

The Problem of the “Told” Story

I have talked about some of the most frequent problems that I see when judging for the Writers of the Future Contest, and today I’m going to tackle one of the biggest: the problem with “told” stories.

Publisher

Your First Five Pages

A writer pointed out today that when you send a novel to an agent or publisher, they normally ask for the first five or ten pages, just so that they can gauge your writing skill. If those pages don’t grab the reader, it won’t sell. So, he wondered, what do I look for in those first five pages?