The Steel Prince by V. E. Schwab
 

The Steel Prince

New Release Comic Review

 
The Son of Summer Stars by Meredith Ann Pierce
 

The Son of Summer Stars

Classic SFF Review

 
The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss
 

The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter

Review

 

Browsing all articles tagged with writing advice.

Publishing Program at Portland State University

Publishing Program at Portland State University 

In early 2014, I was lucky enough to be accepted into the Master of Science in Writing: Book Publishing Program at Portland State University (PSU). I quit my day-job, moved from Alaska to Oregon, and started the program in fall 2014. That particular move was a whirlwind, by the way—driving down to Oregon with my […]

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Taking Comedy Seriously

Taking Comedy Seriously 

From Geoffrey Chaucer to Raymond Chandler—and a lot of people in between—all kinds of writers have used comedy to entertain and inform in their writing. Comedy can form a useful distraction from a darker story, or can take the form of a sly comment on the main action—or it can be the backbone of a […]

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Worldbuilding: More Than Just Maps

Worldbuilding: More Than Just Maps 

When we think about worldbuilding, we tend to think of it on a grand scale: maps of continents in the front of fantasy novels, or astral charts showing rival galactic empires. But worldbuilding is deeper, and more subtle, than that. A novel can have a huge cast and be set in a huge background, but […]

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Character Development: Writing Realistic Personalities & Flaws

Character Development: Writing Realistic Personalities & Flaws 

This is the second article in our Character Development series. Click here to read the first article: Character Death and the Ultimate Sacrifice. In writing a novel, many authors are concerned about their characters’ likability. Characters are often their creator’s darlings, and the last thing authors want is for the audience to dislike what they, […]

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Editing Your Writing

Editing Your Writing 

Editing is, in a way, the less fun counterpart to writing a novel. However, in writing fiction, the devil often is in the details, and a good edit can make the difference between a reasonable book and a brilliant one. Of course, a traditionally-published book will be edited by the publisher, and many self-published writers […]

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Going to a Writer’s Convention: What You Need to Know

Going to a Writer’s Convention: What You Need to Know 

When thinking about science fiction and fantasy conventions—sometimes referred to as cons—the mind automatically dashes off to PAX or New York Comic Con or any one of the conventions in and around your town. You know the ones I’m talking about. The events where you cosplay your favorite characters and sit at panels listening to […]

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Terry Pratchett and the Fantastical Power of Similes

Terry Pratchett and the Fantastical Power of Similes 

Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series is celebrated by fantasy readers around the world for its wit, humour, and worldbuilding. Those who enjoy the series, myself included, cannot deny the vividness of Pratchett’s imaginary world, so magically crafted with words and so carefully balanced on the back of a turtle in space. An entire essay could be […]

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Character Development: Character Death and the Ultimate Sacrifice

Character Development: Character Death and the Ultimate Sacrifice 

Killing a character in your novel is a tried and true method for advancing your plot. Allegiances are torn, revenge is sought, kingdoms fall apart. Character death feels as essential to the fantasy genre as magic—perhaps more-so. But in a narrative sense, is death really the “ultimate” sacrifice? The most effective character deaths are those […]

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Weaving A Narrative

Weaving A Narrative 

A story is more than its central plot tenants. It is more than the broad strokes of its grand events and dramatic moments. It is a woven tapestry of differing narrative threads and layers that weave together to create a cohesive whole. Yes there will be the macro arc of the greater plot that directs […]

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Temporal Anomalies: Timekeeping in Fantasy

Temporal Anomalies: Timekeeping in Fantasy 

Humans are OCD about time. We obsess over birthdays and anniversaries and are ruled by the work week. We live for the weekend and look forward to holidays with either joy or dread, depending on which relatives are coming over. We count the seconds until midnight on New Year’s, and we count the billions of […]

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Crafting A Fall: Turning Heroes to the Dark Side

Crafting A Fall: Turning Heroes to the Dark Side 

Who doesn’t love to see a character go bad? A man pushed too far pushing back? A loyal but ambitious servant helping themselves for a change? A noble hero broken down into the blackest villain? To watch a character fall into darkness is a fascinating journey, seeing a character’s values crumble and twist, watching their […]

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Creating a Magic System

Creating a Magic System 

The naming of a thing gives you power over it. Sorcery is the will and the word. Cast fireball now and you won’t be able to again until tomorrow and have finished your revision. Magic systems exist in scores of fantasy novels. Diverse in their rules, varying in complexity, they instruct us in how the […]

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