For many of us who write speculative fiction, worldbuilding is a key part of the process. I enjoy harmonizing the story world, themes, and characters. When I succeed, the results are rewarding, and I’m equally fascinated by complex cultures in the books I read. Since art both reflects and affects worldview, its role in a culture reveals many secrets.
As humans, we’re prone to a multitude of sins. Today Josiah DeGraaf, Hope Ann, and Brandon Miller discuss two specific sins that they and other writers tend to struggle with: envy and pride. They share their own experiences and give practical tips on how to conquer...
Poetry is written for the quiet ones, the soulful ones, the ones who let thoughts tangle in their throats before they ever get tangled in their hair. Poetry is written for the soft ones, the shy ones, the ones who dance in midnight shadows and sip on moonlight tea.
Characters need flaws to humanize them. When we try to follow this advice, sometimes we populate our stories with characters who are perfect except for one glaring issue, such as selfishness or insecurity. But how many of us have a single weakness?
Last February, I contracted a severe case of creative block. Inspiration seemed to pack its bags and depart for an unknown region. Everything I wrote sounded wrong, and artistic feats became a struggle. I couldn’t craft a poem, paint a canvas, or sketch a character! I’d never experienced such a widespread form of mental paralysis before.
“Show, don’t tell” is a mantra that writing teachers quote to conceal the challenges of story crafting, and their students regurgitate it to sound insightful—whether they understand the concept or not. It’s lasted through the decades because it defines the difference between engaging and boring fiction.
Today Josiah DeGraaf, Rolena Hatfield, and Daeus Lamb tackle a famous piece of writing advice: show, don’t tell. What exactly is the difference between showing and telling? Why is showing important? Should writers ever tell instead?