Photo courtesy of dunechaser. Licensed under the Creative Commons. Yesterday marked the 40th anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King, Jr., and I wrote nothing in here about it. From that, you could infer that this factoid is meaningless to me. That inference would be wrong, despite my being born four years (and change) … Read more

Challenge Me

I’m stealing an idea from John Scalzi, one of my favorite writers/bloggers out there. That idea is the “user dictated writing”… You, my (few) readers, get to spew forth ideas for me to write about. Seriously, it doesn’t have to be about writing, and it doesn’t have to be about cycling. Anything. Any topic. Challenge … Read more

Books About Writing Books

So I got asked today about how-to-write books — specifically, I was asked to recommend a few. Given that this seems to be a topic that comes up now and then, I am going to recommend two-and-a-half of them (one is specific for F&SF writers).

The first is On Writing by Stephen King. This is the book that I re-read every so often. King puts together an autobiography and a lecture on craft into one easy-to-read manuscript. The thing is, most writers would put together an autobiography that would read as “if you didn’t grow up like I did, you’ll never amount to much.” King doesn’t do that. Instead, he draws on elements of his upbringing that illustrate how his life shaped him as a writer, and are easily identifiable as things that could have just as easily happened to you. The result is a frank, sometimes funny, sometimes sad book on not just craft, but what it really means to be a writer.

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Fanfic, the Creative Commons, and the SF Writer

So recently, sci-fi author Steven Brust released a Firefly fanfic novel as a free download. A friend who is making strides in the business of being a sci-fi writer, if I recall correctly, cut her teeth by writing fan fiction.

I’m reminded of John Scalzi and his adage about “paying work gets written first.” It’s a phrase that can easily be interpreted as “don’t write anything unless you’re going to submit it to a paying market first.”

Lately, I’ve been musing on the trend in sci-fi circles toward releasing one’s work under the Creative Commons license. And I’ve been musing on fanfic, because I’ve got an idea for a piece rolling around in my brain.

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