The Invisible Woman: Sexual Segregation in Sci-Fi

My guest post on the gender gap in science fiction posted on the LibraryJournal SELF-e blog today, just as Iron Man 3 co-writer Shane Black revealed that Marvel's corporate interests forced him to change the gender of the movie's villain to sell more toys. According to Black, the original script featured a female version of antagonist Aldrich Killian,... Continue Reading →

How to Write a Novel, Part 5: Dynamic Dialogue

Admit it. You eavesdrop. It’s all right, everyone does. Some anthropologists even assert that humans evolved to gossip, because exchanging information about others informs our social bonds and behavior. In novel-writing, dialogue functions as a critical storytelling tool. But fictional conversations differ from those in real life. They must move the story forward through the... Continue Reading →

How to Write a Novel, Part 2: Crafting Characters

Last year, a friend told me she had an idea for a story. “That’s awesome!” I said. “Tell me about your characters.” “The heroine is kind of a rebel who sees things differently,” she explained. “Then there’s another girl who represents the establishment.” I stopped her and threw down some emergency novelist knowledge:  characters are... Continue Reading →

Sentenced: Struggles with Short Stories

Stephen King must have a much more affectionate relationship with short stories than I do. The past two months I spent writing pieces for ASU’s cli-fi short story contest—submitting them just a few days shy of the deadline last Friday—didn’t feel like a passionate, mysterious encounter. More like a home invasion. Let’s review the charges:... Continue Reading →

New Year’s Write-olutions 2016

I have a confession: I hate New Year's Eve. No, really. On a philosophical level, the reminder of time passing and dreams yet unrealized depresses me. On a pragmatic level, I can't stand hordes of noisy inebriates and restaurants pushing prix fixe menus at four times their usual rates. The handful of times I've ventured out to... Continue Reading →

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