Is speculative fiction the same as science fiction and fantasy? Here's a popular definition of speculative fiction, some reading recommendations, and an introduction to the debate about the term among the SF community.
I've long been infatuated with the idea of going away to write. You know, that cliche cafe in Paris, the cabin in the woods, the beach house with no obstructions between your window and the heavenly horizon. Just you and the blank page.
A free ebook called 7 Tools to Help You Write a Novel is now available at The Write Practice. It covers several techniques and methods for planning a novel-sized story like character sketches, setting sketches, and an intro to plotting the Scrivener way.
A downloadable, printable PDF of Lester Dent's iunfamous Pulp Paper Master Fiction Plot. Learn plot from one of the best writer's of the pulp magazine era.
Neil Gaiman started picking out questions to answer around 5pm Central on January 22nd, 2015. These are my favorite responses.
What are Reverse Foreshadowing and Reverse Salting and why do they matter in writing? Plus, a couple nuggets of wisdom from writers more experienced than me.
Here are four articles about how to write with Scrivener. I wrote and published the articles on The Write Practice, a great blog to learn about craft and tools for the creative writer.
I finished the rough draft of my first novel recently, and I thought it would be educational to both myself and other writers if I shared the data I gathered during the process, and what I learned along the way.
1,000 words a day
The one thing that helped me get started—and helped me follow through with—writing this book was the realization that writing a book was a simple equation. Effort over time equals words.
Yes, it’s that simple.
I realized that if I wrote 1,000 words a day, after 30 days I’d have a novel (or a novella, if you want to split hairs.)
From there, it was simple math. I expected my story to be 30,000 – 50,000 words, so it would take me 30-50 days of work.
That took the fear out of it. It made the prospect of writing the story—not just the story, but the novel—much less daunting. Not that I expected it to be easy (and it certainly hasn’t been), but it suddenly seemed achievable.
Keeping track of my word count
To make sure I kept the one-thousand-words-a-day promise to myself, I decided before I began that I would keep track.
Here’s how it works:
It takes me about 2-3 hours of focused effort to write 1,000 words (sometimes less, often more). At the end of each writing session, I write the date and word count in my notebook, with occasional notes (you can see some of the notes below). Some days, I put in multiple sessions of varying lengths. I might write 237 words in the morning and 744 in the afternoon. Not ideal, but they still add up the same.
At the end of the process, I had a bunch of data. Here’s a graph of my progress (click to enlarge):
I listened to Self-Publishing And The Bookstrapper’s Guide To Book Marketing With Tucker Max yesterday, and something Tucker Max said about the storytelling of the future, and how exciting it is to be alive right now keeps echoing in my head.
The English language is confusing and full of nuances—that's why we have style guides. They help us keep our tools and our rules straight. I recommend three (with downloadable PDFs!).