If you want to dive deep into the darkest crevices of a writer’s mind, you should follow Irina. Many of her posts are long and thoughtful digressions on life and writing. She’s better at explaining these sorts of things than I am.
This one hit me so hard in the feels, I needed to reblog. I’ve been feeling some heavy imposter syndrome these days (Sorry for being such a Danny Downer lately!). This is such a great way of looking at it.
I’ve had those 45-minute rants plenty of times in my professional field, but it never clicked how meaningful that is. Thanks, Irina, for sharing your insights!
Here’s a guest post I wrote for Transmundane, which is related to the story I have in their upcoming anthology, ON TIME.
Maybe I’m too much of an optimist–that’s a bit hard to believe considering how cynical and sarcastic I am!–but I’ve never bought into the post-apocalyptic premise of people turning on each other, people as animals rather than intelligent beings. It’s just not supported by the sociology.
My story in the anthology is a hero tale, of sorts, so it seemed like a good topic to dive into. Why do people do crazy things for the benefit of others?
Enjoy an exclusive guest post from JM Williams, author of “Time to Set Things Right,” featured in our upcoming anthology ON TIME.
You’ve heard this story before. A young man standing on a subway platform suffers a seizure and falls onto the tracks. The roar of the coming train is deafening, the lights like the glowing eyes of Cerberus. Then suddenly, a bystander jumps down, grabs the man, and pulls them both to safety, just as the train screeches by. This happened famously in 2007, and many times before.
Fantasy fiction is filled with heroes, which is probably why it’s my genre of choice. There’s something deeply compelling about these stories. Something ancient. Some of the earliest…
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I’m very proud to have one of my stories featured in this anthology. The cover art looks incredible and the editorial staff have been great to work with. A hard working and professional group of folks.
This story was one I was particularly proud of, one which received much praise from my peer reviewers. It is also a story that is a bit deeper in theme and moral than much of what I write, a underlying message that has particular relevance today.
I’ll have more to share in the near future, including some articles and flash fiction which Transmundane will be hosting. Stay tuned for updates!
A new project. A new theme. Some seriously timely stories.
Introducing ON TIME, a collection of seventy-four interpretations of the fourth dimension.
Are we controlled by TIME’s callous whims? An unyielding, enslaving construct, trapping us within unstoppable second-hands.
Or is TIME an illusion? Changing the continuum’s flow, we unlock forbidden power and break our servitude to existence’s linear chains.
The future affects the past. ON TIME features seventy-four stories that fling us forward, promise progress while dropping destruction, and replay our regrets.
Will we learn from our mistakes or must we forever remain TIME’s servant?
And here is our brilliantly-illustrated cover from Kiren Bagchee.
We are in love.
Join us as we explore these diverse stories, our talented authors, and a peek behind the scenes.
Irina and I had a good exchange regarding this topic on my previous post. Check out this awesome continuation she posted on her blog.
I think my thoughts on the issue have changed some over the past couple years. This is probably in large part because most of the favorite characters I have written (as a male author) have been women and girls. And I tend to like female characters more in fiction (who knows, maybe this very issue causes people to be more conscious about how they write and create female leads). Of course men can write deep women characters and vice versa. And any hack writer can write shallow characters of any gender.
But I do think there are some things that are inherently foreign from one side to the other, and at a minimum, require a good amount of research before publication. I wouldn’t write a story about a Korean character (I’m pretty white as far as the ethnic spectrum goes) without having a whole lot of either experience or research (I’ve lived in Korea for 11+ years and did my master’s thesis on Korean political history). Women are the same way for me. There are some things I feel confident about because either they should be human universal traits, or because I have enough experience in my relationships to tease them out. But there are plenty of things I wouldn’t try to guess at. Morning sickness, or just the experience of being pregnant. Or the experience of dealing with the heavier burdens of living in a patriarchy. In the end though, I think seeking to understand these differences in perspective makes us better authors, and better people.
Great post, by the way! 😀
There’s a topic that has been nagging me for quite a while, demanding attention and asking that my opinion on it be shared with the world. My usual response has been “Shut up and go sit in the corner, you’re too politicised as it is” but a recent chat with a fellow writer sort of convinced me it was possible to write about it without enraging armies or even your discussion partner. The nagging topic is about men writing female characters and, gasp, women writing male characters.
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I’ve written about dialogue grammar and formatting before, but K.M. Allan does a much better job here. Pay attention to the part on “action beats.” I see a lot of writers getting that wrong.
Dialogue is an important part of any story and essential to get right.
Good dialogue can reveal twists, unveil character traits, motivations, change the direction of the story, and give your cliffhangers the perfect bite—I mean, who doesn’t love the final line of a scene ending in a suspenseful piece of dialogue!
While it’s up to you to perfect your dialogue, if you want to ensure it’s working for your words, double-check it with the help of this checklist!
Use your search function to find every instance of quote marks (” or ‘), and as you look at each highlighted quote, check the following…
Spelled Out Emotions
While there’s nothing wrong with telling emotions, if you’re spelling out every single instance, use this check to shortcut your way to finding all that telling and convert some of it to showing.
Telling: “Get out!” Jenny shouted angrily.
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Kit Campbell has released some great writing resources, and they are currently on sale. Check it out!
Sorry for the single post this week, squiders, but it’s for good reason! The first books for the Writers’ Motivation series are out! And despite the many technical issues, I also got my new SkillShare class up and published.
It’s been exhausting.
(I also finally bought boots for my costume. Hooray!)
But now I have lots of things to share!
Let’s do the SkillShare class first. This one is called Story Writing: Keeping Track of Your Story Ideas and is about setting up an idea storage system for writing ideas. It’s available here and is about 25 minutes long.
(I think I’m going to need to get a new camera before I film any more. Also apparently our local library has a recording studio you can rent out, so there’s something to ponder. But I’m not even going to look at the next class til December or, more realistically, January.)
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If you watched the author interview VIDEO I shared a few days ago, you will know how bad the audio is. I spend several hours messing with the audio, editing and clearing up the sound. The trouble is that I recorded the video on my cell phone, in a large and echo-y room. There's only … Continue reading REBLOG: Richie Billing News
Said much better than I could manage, by someone much more familiar with the subject. I just started really digging into sci-fi history in the past year, so I haven't had a chance to do all the reading that goes with it. Le Guin was at the top of my list. I knew she was … Continue reading REBLOG: St. Ursula
Thank you, Victorique, for the great review. I am surprised I got off so well. For those who don’t know, she is usually very hard on books! A 4 of 5 is a great score from her. I really like this anthology. It doesn’t need you to constantly change characters, but each chapter is indeed … Continue reading REBLOG: The Adventures of Iric Review
Thanks to Laura for sharing this important information. I have just started on Goodreads as an author, have my first book listed on my account, and have yet to start working on giveaways (though I planned to). I am an American writer, and write in a genre that is more popular in the US (SF/F) … Continue reading REBLOG: An Open Letter to Netgalley and Goodreads