Thursday, October 8, 2009

Why science fiction authors just can't win - SFFMedia

Ordinarily I post exercises and writing challenges here, but this is an article I think you should not miss if you're incubating a story in any genre.

Why science fiction authors just can't win - SFFMedia

The genre definitions and rules are changing almost daily and this article shows one of the effects of this change.

See this post and follow links back to the earlier genre discussion.

Kurt Vonnegut was offended by being classed as an SF writer just as Atwood apparently is.

Today SF elements are accepted as mainstream in mainstream and otherwise mundane fiction.

In fact, the cell phone is an SF element now common in daily life. They've found water on the moon and Mars. They're firing a rocket into the moon's surface to kick up enough dust to analyze for water. Find it, and they plan to build a habitat on the moon. OK?

The only thing left for SF writers to explore is relationships with non-humans. That's what SFR and Paranormal Romance does.

Jacqueline Lichtenberg


Kimber Li said...

I noticed my novel-in-revision, SWEET, resembles THOSE OF MY BLOOD in some ways, based on what I've read about it on-line. So, I ordered it. Now, I'm wondering if I should wait to read it until after SWEET is polished and launched into Queryland.

On a similar issue, I find it strange that I come to conclusions with no conscious memory of pondering the question. No wonder my brain cells are always in a twist. "Where the heck did that come from?"

Jacqueline Lichtenberg said...

Kimber An

No, you should read THOSE OF MY BLOOD and anything that might be similar before finalizing your own.

But do it with conscious attention and take copious notes.

You want to be careful not to COPY what others have done, but to EMULATE the technical underpinnings (sentence length, paragraph length, chapter length, events/chap, exposition/dialogue proportions, and so on, plus plot, sub-plot and multiple-theme structuring -- all the things I've been talking about).

Find the book that is most like what you're trying to write and use it for a TEMPLATE, just as you'd use a Microsoft Word document template or Publisher template, replacing their images with yours, their words with yours, but make it fit the OUTLINES of the spaces.

What you copy is the COMPOSITION.

That's what gives your work a professional air, just as with any of the templates you find around the web.

Jacqueline Lichtenberg

Kimber Li said...

Thank you!

I think I'll be rereading DOWN HOME ZOMBIE BLUES too.