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Recommended resources for writing SF/F? (Mslexia Guest Blog)

Since my last post, some of you have asked for links to useful blogs about writing fantasy/science fiction. Unfortunately, this has made me realise that most of what I read when I started writing is out of date now – no longer updated, or my bookmarks lost from when I changed laptops. Darn.

Recently I’ve been keeping my head down and writing, trying to limit my online reading til this novel is done, so I don’t have as much fresh content to recommend as I’d like. I’ve listed here a few links to some classics and content I still think is relevant, but I’m really writing this to ask what you read.

Which sites or books do you find useful when you’re stuck for what to write, or how to write it? Was there a genre-specific resource that helped when you were starting out?

Or, do you just use the same writing advice non-genre writers would? Is anything extra needed?

Read the full article (including ace Ray Bradbury video and a picture of a Cat Wizard) here.

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Genre is a community, not a ghetto (Mslexia guest blog)

My latest blog about genre-writing is up at Mslexia. Here’s an excerpt – click here for the full read. And I do hope you like the zebra photo. I aim to serve.

No one wants to be pigeonholed. I just want to write books so wonderful that everyone loves them, all over the world. Even people who don’t normally read will adore what I write and praise me. Loudly. You want the same thing, right?

With that in mind, identifying yourself as a genre writer and distinguishing yourself from the mainstream – isn’t that cutting yourself off, selling yourself short?

I don’t think so. Far from being limiting, I have found more support, useful advice and a stronger sense of my writing identity since I defined myself as a fantasy writer. Here’s how it worked for me, and while my references and resources are particularly about Sci-Fi/Fantasy, I hope that some of this will be useful to those writing in other genres, too.

I hope you’ll read the full post here.

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How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Dragons (Mslexia Guest Post)

My first post is up at the Mslexia blog – w00t! It’s the first of six pieces about writing Fantasy (and the SF/F genre in general). Mslexia is a quarterly magazine aimed at women writers, and it’s my absolute favourite writing-type periodical, so I am very chuffed to be guest blogging for them. Come on over and read my piece, then check out the rest of the site if you haven’t heard of them before.  Excerpt follows.

From the Mslexia Blog

I didn’t mean to write ‘genre’. I hadn’t even considered it – but when I joined my local writing class, every story I told had something supernatural in it. Magic and myth, alternative histories, witches and other worlds. What was happening to me? I hadn’t read anything like that since my teens, so was surprised to find myself writing it now.

I was reading serious novels those days; classics, Booker Prize winners, modern stories about India and child abuse. Somehow I’d changed from the girl who devoured every book in the library’s ‘Science Fiction’ section (where anything vaguely Asimov, McCaffrey or Herbert was shelved), stopped being the girl who stalked Terry Pratchett til he remembered my name*. I’d become a reading snob, and hadn’t even noticed.

Article continues. . .

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Faux Casting of Anathema, by Megg Jensen (Slacker Heroes review)

anathema cover

Slave girls in a mysterious castle? Missing friends, magical tokens, intrigue and ritual – I was excited by this story from the opening chapter.

Anathema is the first title in Megg Jensen’s Cloud Prophet Trilogy, and the entire time I was reading I could ‘see’ it in my head like a film, so I thought it would be fun have a faux casting for an imaginary movie adaptation.

Our heroine, Reychel, is a slave girl in the King’s castle. She is not allowed to see the sky unless her tyrannical master allows it. Sometimes he summons her to his chambers to tell him stories, but the rest of the time she spends with the other slave girls, doing chores in the castle’s dark kitchen.

To show their slave status the girls must always keep their heads shaved, so you’ll understand why my in-brain movie wanted Natalie Portman for this role. However, I decided instead to sub Keira Knightley. At the start, Reychel is naive and trusting, not used to thinking for herself, and I think Keira does dumb better than Natalie, while still having that wide-eyed look that makes scalp-short hair so sexy.

Click here to see who else I chose.

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