The 3 Big Differences Between the Sci-Fi and Fantasy Genre

The 3 Big Differences Between the Sci-Fi and Fantasy Genre

Isn’t it true? In every science fiction novel, there’s starships, cold metal, and laser blasters? And in every fantasy novel, there’s magic and trees and elves? Aaaaand orcs. (didn’t forget ya rascally man-flesh eaters) But is it really that simple? Sorry, but there’s more to it. So what are the 3 differences between sci-fi and fantasy and why should these differences matter to you as a precious elven tree lord of a writer?     1. The Goal To quote Orson again (we’re on a roll here): The basis of every awesome science fiction story is the “what if…” debate. The “what if…” debate pits humanity (or aliens) against alien forces. Science fiction addresses an existing problem and explores solutions by saying “what if…” Let’s take Star Trek for instance. Star Trek explores the fascinating idea of human beings (and aliens alike) one day being capable of interstellar exploration. The “what if…” question, however, is renewed each episode. For instance, in The Devil in the Dark, the crew is attacked by a seemingly hostile monster. Through Spock, we learn this creature isn’t hostile, but a mother desperate to protect its young against attack from the crew. The “what if…” question for this episode was, “what if something we do not understand isn’t a monster, but very much like us instead?” Although science fiction, this series moved viewers to acknowledge the problems facing humanity and how they could overcome those problems.   So, then, what is the goal of the fantasy genre? Fantasy takes the “what if…” debate in a very different light. The “what if…” debate pits our world...
Why a Blog/Vlog is the Best Platform for Promoting your Work of Fiction

Why a Blog/Vlog is the Best Platform for Promoting your Work of Fiction

You’ve got a killer piece of fiction on your hands but you have no idea how to promote it. Plus, you don’t want to be that “guy” who promotes his fiction to all his friends like a sleazy, self-absorbed fop. So how do you promote your work of fiction in a creative way that actually gathers attention? How do you gather a following for your work that soon blooms into an insatiable fandom? You use a platform to promote your work of fiction. So what in the double hockey sticks is a platform? And most importantly, dear sunfish, which platform is right for you and your fandom-worthy work of fiction?   A Platform: A platform is as literal as it sounds. It’s a type of stage which allows you to do 2 things: It allows your voice to spread to an audience And it allows you and your work of fiction to gain visibility By using an online platform to spotlight your work, you cast your net around a greater potential audience. Now, you’re probably thinking that a reliable platform to curate your content is something like Facebook, Reddit, Medium, or even a website. But the problem with social media is that it isn’t a reliable platform to build your foundation on. Sure, writers like John Green, Rainbow Rowell, and Suzanne Collins all have Facebook pages, but they don’t rely on these platforms alone for building their platform. Why not? Because Facebook, Reddit, Twitter- they could all go down tomorrow. And if you create content solely on these foundations, you’ll lose everything you’ve worked on! Social media acts more like an invitation with an “address”...
The First 4 Steps Every Writer Needs To Take To Start Building Their Fanbase

The First 4 Steps Every Writer Needs To Take To Start Building Their Fanbase

Some writers think that eloquent words, unique characters, and wild worlds are enough to reel in the readers and have people bowing at your feet. But sorry, Jack. That isn’t enough. So what 4 solid steps can you take right now to start building your fanbase one screaming fangirl at a time?   1. Discover your Audience Reaching out to your audience begins with understanding who your audience is. And understanding who your audience is begins with understanding your novel.   Answer these questions: What is your book’s genre? How old are the main characters? What is the protagonist’s age and gender? Who’s POV do we follow? What is the message of the story? What does the voice of your novel sound like?- Youthful? Aged and wise? What other factors inspired your novel and influence your writing?- A song? Video games? History? A television series?   Once you have these answers you discover who your target audience is. If you’ve discovered that your book is for a young adult audience (like my books  are) then consider what books the kids are already into. If you’re writing a fantasy or science fiction novel, young readers will probably already be reading books like these:   Or if you’re writing contemporary romance, young adult readers will probably already be reading books like these: What popular books in your select genre have you read? Join groups celebrating these books. Why? Because in order to build a loyal fanbase, you must create genuine connections with freak fans who like stories similar to your own.   2. Reach out and Connect with your Audience Genuine connection...
3 Tips to Help you Slam Dunk NaNoWriMo 2017

3 Tips to Help you Slam Dunk NaNoWriMo 2017

  Are you one of the crazies who decided to write a 50,000-word novel in just 30 days? Well good on you, crazy, because you’re doing an amazing thing that is sure to 1 UP your writing skill. See, the awesome thing about NaNoWriMo is that you make a pinky promise to yourself and your work. You promise that you’ll focus on writing every day. Every. Day.   And, in devoting yourself to a daily word count, you do three things for your writing: You hone a stronger voice   You maintain a mental and emotional connection to your story and characters   You become finely tuned to inconsistencies or plot holes in your writing   And honestly you do just so much more but aye there isn’t time to keep listing, you know what I mean? So, being at nearly the halfway mark, how do you maintain that umph, that zeal for writing? How do you keep that pinky promise to yourself and your work? (after all, you did cross your heart and hope to die, so there’s a lot at stake here) You take these three tips with you because it’s dangerous to go this NaNoWriMo thing alone:   1. Write at the Same Time Every Day But Rae you and I both know that Tuesday I can write at 3:00 pm but on Wednesday I have soccer practice at 3:00 so, yeah, that’s not gunna work for me. That’s ok, but take a deep breath and consider this my precious Beckham: The point of writing at the same time every day is that you are training...
Choosing the Right Narrative Voice for your Novel: How POV and your Story’s Message Weigh In

Choosing the Right Narrative Voice for your Novel: How POV and your Story’s Message Weigh In

To totally steal from last week’s intro article to this topic:   “The narrator’s voice is your greatest asset– and your greatest drawback.” – Orson Scott Card   Choosing the right narrative voice for your novel really comes down to the message you want to send to your reader. And the message will depend greatly on the POV you choose. Why? Because the character(s) you choose to tell the story are the characters your reader will sympathize with. Where Do I Begin? First off, weigh your POV options while you outline your story, not while you write it. It helps if you write down the names of characters you feel would be fab candidates for your story’s POV, plus why they would frame your story’s narrative sensationally. In fact, why not try that right now?   Got that handy lil list o’ pretty possibilities all set? Awesome. Now, keep that list beside you while we dissect a simple story idea and see how selecting a POV and a narrative voice drastically changes the story’s message:   Danny Harrison’s twin brother Pete was shot to death by Benny Feng, notorious leader of the Black Tiger Gang. Danny’s dying father, John, looks to Danny to right the wrongs committed against their family.     POV Options: We have three strong candidates here for POV options (even four candidates, if we want the option of a somber aftermath retelling from Pete’s past tense POV.)   POV #1: Last heir to the “throne” Danny Harrison is at a crossroads: fulfill family obligation? Or pursue personal ambitions?   POV #2: Gang leader Benny Feng...
The 3 Narrative Voices: What are they? How do you tell them apart?

The 3 Narrative Voices: What are they? How do you tell them apart?

“The narrator’s voice is your greatest asset– and your greatest drawback.” – Orson Scott Card   Choosing the narrative voice for your novel determines who the reader will sympathize with. That means the entire story hangs on the choice of your narrative voice. It can be very difficult to choose the right narrator for your book especially if you aren’t sure what each voice truly does. I don’t know about you, but trying to figure out the difference between the narrative options gave me a headache for years. But after intense reading and research, I discovered the gold points every author should know and needs to know to properly identify the narrative voice. If you’re reading this now, it’s because you want to figure out what those narrative voice options are and which you should choose for your story. So, let’s break down what your three options as a fiction writer are and how these voices work:   1. Omniscient Third Person Narrator The omniscient third-person narrator flits like an invisible bird from place to place, sharing a distant, unemotional perspective of each character’s POV. Orson Scott Card put it best when he said, “The O.T.P narrator sees the world through the wrong end of the binoculars– readers can see everything but it all looks very small and far away.” We sit back and watch the lives play out from a distance as if we are a “god” looking down on the lives of mortals. There’s no emotional attachment, simply straightforward presentation of the facts. We watch what the characters do, we don’t experience it. Easiest way to identify...

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