Articles from October 2012



Guest Post: This Part of the Scene is Left Implied Because the Author’s Hands were Busy

UZ’s guest posts continue.
Nothing exposes the comforting lies of fiction more than analysis by the reader, which is why we avoid this as much as we can. One avenue to failure in this respect is to become so absorbed in an idea that you become uncritical of your own work, and [...]

Guest Post: Broken Bridges

UZ’s guest posts continue!

There is a form of dishonesty that has gained popularity in recent writing, which for lack of a better term I will call the Broken Bridge technique. This is where the story presents a question that feels compelling, puts off addressing it and ultimately fails to answer it, but [...]

Guest Post: Dressing and Skirting

There are things that we shouldn’t generally talk about in fiction. It’s not that we are literally unable, or that we mustn’t because of some moral obligation. Rather, the reason is that we’re trying to get our point across – the lunar disco and monster boyfriend part – and if we let these other things [...]

Guest Post: Wronging the Write

UZ’s guest posts continue.

My background in fantasy and the weird means that I often write about upsetting things; I’ve discussed some of these in the past with our illustrious host. When we write about wondrous things – that’s really our mandate in fantasy – often we write about scale. The fifty [...]

Guest Post: Why Lie?

A continuation of UZ’s series of guest posts, begun yesterday.
Most writers who believe in the natural process will ask – why lie? If writing is supposed to be communication, shouldn’t we communicate what we actually feel is right? My response, inadequate as it may seem, is that this isn’t the only [...]

Guest Post: The Liar

This is the first in a series of guest posts written by UZ–thank you so much!
I am a “writer”, an unpublished author who makes text for others to read in the full knowledge that, for the most part, no one will ever read it. I do this, ironically, out of love for my [...]

A Status Update

I really, really wish I didn’t write so many short little posts that end up as “Here’s this week’s complication, here’s why the posts are a little different”; it’s slightly embarrassing having to admit to weakness, and sometimes feels like I’m being lazy while trying to pretend to keep a schedule. On the other hand, [...]

Characterization Exercise: Try to Be Civil!

This one was originally suggested to me by Shinali, though I’ve elaborated on it a bit.
For this characterization exercise, you’ll need two characters who, if they were to run into each other in most contexts, would be at each other’s throats—physically, verbally, or otherwise. They don’t necessarily have to be from the same world, but [...]

The Generic Villain on Theft and Protagonist Relations

Some things we do have pretty simple, predictable consequences, clearly visible from the overall morality of our surrounding worlds. Killing is usually worse than vandalism, at least depending on who you kill and what you vandalize, instituting or depending on slavery is generally asking for trouble, and overall it’s pretty easy to tell what you [...]

Impractical Applications (Culture and Confessions)

I’ll admit it—much though I love stories in which the culture is one of the most prevalent characters of all, I can’t really think of one stunning example of having done the grand culture-build and made it stick. Instead, most of what I’ve got is a lot of practice cases, going partway into the idea [...]