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Help! I Put A Placeholder In My Story—And It Became Permanent!

Writing is a messy business for most of us—even if you’re one of those people who outlines everything in advance, there’s always going to be some parts that you make up as you go. And sometimes, a first draft will include stuff that you know you’re going to have to change later. But what happens when that stuff takes… »8/18/15 2:30pm8/18/15 2:30pm

10 Ways To Create A Near-Future World That Won't Look Too Dated

Writing about the world to come is a scary proposition, because nothing becomes obsolete faster than futuristic visions. Especially if you're writing about a decade or two from now, your story risks looking ridiculous within a few years. So here are 10 tips to keep your near-future setting from looking too dated.
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2 Secrets To Writing A Story That People Can't Tear Themselves Away From

When people talk about how to write a great story, you hear a lot about structure, and how to lay down the track so that the audience is swept along. But writer Frank Cottrell Boyce has some fantastic advice about the true secret of writing a story (or movie) that people can't get enough of: make it a collection of… »3/17/15 1:41pm3/17/15 1:41pm

"He Said, She Said": Is There Any Cooler Way To Show Dialog In Fiction?

So you've written some sparkling dialogue, and even made sure your characters don't all have the same "voice." But there's still a problem with your dialogue — you feel weird writing "he said" and "she said" over and over again. Is there any way around this? What can you do to avoid this repetition? »2/17/15 2:50pm2/17/15 2:50pm

10 Ways To Turn Your Real Life Experiences Into Science Fiction

Unless you've commanded a starship, fought off an alien invasion or survived a global disaster, your life experiences probably aren't too science-fictional. But still, the most powerful stories are often rooted in things that actually happened. Here are 10 tricks for turning your personal true stories into science… »12/18/14 10:08am12/18/14 10:08am

10 Things That Every Brand New Creator of Science Fiction Should Know

Being a science fiction creator is the most amazing adventure — you get to invent whole new worlds, brand new futures, and fantastic technologies, and you get to tell the most incredible stories about them. But it's also a tough and heartbreaking career path, whether you're in books, comics, movies or television. Here… »3/06/14 10:31am3/06/14 10:31am

How to Write Descriptive Passages Without Boring the Reader or Yourself

Describing stuff can be the hardest part of writing prose fiction. You have a scene in your head, with all the dialogue and action, but now you have to fill in what everything looks like. There's nothing more boring to write, or read, than a long descriptive passage — but here's how to spice it up. »12/09/13 11:55am12/09/13 11:55am

The Only Kind of Sentence You Should Use in Your Fiction

People will advise you to write all sorts of sentences. Snappy sentences, lyrical sentences, Hemingway-esque short sentences, long Faulknerian sentences. But there's really only one kind of sentence that actually works: a sentence that carries the reader forward from the previous sentence. This is harder than it… »8/20/13 3:19pm8/20/13 3:19pm