Latest Entries
characterization / fantasy / science fiction / speculative fiction

Characterization in World Building

Developing great characters is one of the most important challenges for a writer of speculative fiction. Whether your characters are superheroes or space pilots or mages, you definitely want to develop interesting, complex characters, just as you would in any other kind of great fiction. Today’s post provides tips on how to do exactly that! Who … Continue reading

fantasy / science fiction / speculative fiction / Uncategorized / world building

More Aspects of World Building – Part 2

When writing fantasy, science fiction, or other speculative fiction, there are a number of important aspects to consider. Today we are going to look at some more: Realistic hang-outs, a name for your world, food, alternate realities, time/era, transportation, morality, and architecture–as well as some overall considerations for writing in these genres. This post is … Continue reading

fantasy / science fiction / speculative fiction / Uncategorized / world building

More Aspects of World Building Part 1

When writing fantasy, science fiction, or other speculative fiction, there are a number of important aspects to consider. Today we are going to look at conflict, government and politics, history, technology, magic and super powers, religion and values, basic infrastructures, economic systems, and cultural groups and issues. This post is part of a series on … Continue reading

mapping worlds / speculative fiction / world building

World Building Through Mapping

Great fantasy worlds, no matter how unique, need to be physical and believable, based upon reality and rules for those worlds. Before you start writing, start planning that world. Consider theology/spirituality, physics, weather/climate, geography, astronomy, zoology, anthropology, history… Mapping is a great way to develop your world. You can add more details as you write, … Continue reading

speculative fiction / utopia and dystopia

Utopian or Dystopian Story Writing

Two popular sub-genres of speculative fiction are utopian and dystopian fiction–and these genres are widely explored through novels, short stories, film, video games, and other formats. This post will discuss these genres and then provide a list of questions for writers to consider as they plan and develop their own utopian and/or dystopian stories. A … Continue reading

fantasy / science fiction / speculative fiction / the hero's journey

The Hero’s Journey

In our previous post, Mapping and World Creation, we introduced some of the basics of writing speculative fiction genres, and especially looked at the “rules” for science fiction and fantasy. Today, we’ll take an introductory look at “The Hero’s Journey,” a major story-telling cycle described by Joseph Campbell. As you read about the stages in the … Continue reading

fantasy / science fiction / speculative fiction / world building

Mapping and World Creation

Think about your favourite science fiction or fantasy story–and the amazing “world” that the author has created for it. How do writers come up with these fantastical ideas? We’ll be exploring this topic together over the next few posts. Speculative fiction includes science fiction, fantasy, horror, superhero, dystopian, utopian, and other similar genres. These genres can be … Continue reading

flash fiction / inspiration for writing / writing prompts

Kinds of Flash Fiction

My last post introduced the type of writing called “Flash Fiction.” Today I’m going to provide a list of different sorts of flash fiction and some sites worth checking out. If you’re looking for daily writing “prompts” that are short and quick but also provide opportunity for developing strong writing skills, flash fiction is a … Continue reading

flash fiction / inspiration for writing / writing prompts

Flash Fiction and other Quick Writes

Flash fiction focuses on small but telling moments of life, and every word, every sentence, even the title, matters. A character’s essence is revealed through small hints. Suspense is built by what is left out, letting the reader fill in the gaps. Show only the top 10 percent of your story, using suggestiveness to let … Continue reading

art and writing / inspiration for writing

Writing Inspiration from the Visual Arts

When the “writers’ muse” seems to have flown away, those lists of “writing prompts” just aren’t doing it for you, and the weather is too nasty to head outdoors for inspiration, you can always draw from (pardon the pun!) the visual arts–sketches, paintings, sculpture, photography, cartooning, film and more. Here are some inspirational ideas to … Continue reading