It’s Not Length We’re Looking For

Make your jokes now, people. I’ll give you a moment.

I’m admittedly a little biased on this one. I come from the fantasy genre (which hardly needs re-stating by this point but years of English essays drilled this stuff into me, so bear with me), so my genre has a long tradition with epics. Continue reading

Video Games and the Final Third Problem

I’ve been playing some video games recently. Mostly they’ve been online games (since I actually have a group I like to play with now, I’ve been playing an MMO, which I thought I’d never actually do), but I’ve been diving back into one of the games that has given me a lot of joy over the years: The Bioshock series. Continue reading

To Reveal Art

There are many things that Oscar Wilde is known for saying (or having his characters say – many of the “Oscar Wilde” quotes, I’ve noticed, tend to actually be quotes from things he’s written. Not that that makes them any less things that came from his mind – just an interesting note). One of the more famous ones is “To reveal art and conceal the artist is art’s aim”. Continue reading

Realism in Fiction

“The difference between reality and fiction? Fiction has to make sense.” – Tom Clancy.

Or any of the other variants by Lord Byron (Truth is always strange; stranger than fiction) or Mark Twain (Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities, truth isn’t), or any of the other similar attributions. I ended up finding about five or six different attributions for similar quotes, including a couple of unconfirmed attributions.

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If it’s Not Fun

Writing is weird. All hobbies are, I think, once you start doing them with the intent to improve your skills. After all, trying to improve means trying new things, and of coruse a keen awareness of your imperfections. Since writing is a creative, solitary and very personal pursuit, there are very few universal yardsticks for progress (perhaps the only one is “I gave this to other people, and the flaws they pointed out weren’t the same ones they pointed out last time”). So writers often end up with a litany of ‘Is this hobby for me?’ ‘Do I have a chance to get good enough at this to meet personal goals (or, if you’re that way inclined, to get published)?’ ‘Am I allowed to consider myself a “real writer”?’ Continue reading

The Writer and the Market

For any writer who wants to publish their work, possibly the biggest obstacle is the market. The Market, that we refer to as its own entity that wants mysterious and ever-changing things. The source of all the ‘they’s in ‘they say’ and the ‘everybody’ who knows. Writers spend a lot of energy discussing the market, what it wants and why, and trying to figure out ways to divine its conflicting desires. Continue reading