Thoughty Thursday: Things that made me go hmmmm on the interwebz, May 5-11, 2019

Here is your video-free thoughty Thursday. It’s time to get your mental corn popping!

Mike Crawley reports on more Ford cuts: Ontario Telemedicine Network lays off 44 staff. CBC

Some good news: Parliament passes Charlie Angus’ motion to establish a national suicide prevention action plan. Kate Rutherford for the CBC.

Ben Lindburg interviews David Deutsch and Scott Aaronson about the plausibility of the time travel in Avengers: Endgame. The Ringer

Roy Scranton shares how lessons from a genocide can prepare humanity for the climate apocalypse. MIT Technology Review

Scott Rosenburg explains what Apple, Facebook, and Google really mean when they talk about “privacy.” Axios

Jared Lindzon reveals that 75% of staff at this successful IT company are on the autism spectrum. Fast Company

Emily Esfahani Smith: these deaf entrepreneurs are launching a tiny home retreat and they hope their hearing visitors leave enlightened. The Washington Post

Audubon’s Bird Note invites you to fall in love with the crow’s mating coos.

I hope you found something to spark your next creative project.

Until next tipsday, be well, be kind, and stay strong. The world needs your stories!

thoughtythursday2016

Advertisements

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Dec 17-23, 2017

It’s the last instalment of informal writerly learnings of 2017! Not to worry, I’m not stopping the writerly goodness any time soon 😉

Jane Friedman hosts Peter Selgin on her blog: the deadliest first page sin, plus a critique of two novel openings.

Vaughn Roycroft presents the pantsing leftoverture. Writer Unboxed

Dave King: surprise! Writer Unboxed

Kathleen McCleary: what to give yourself this year. Writer Unboxed

Joanna Penn interviews Douglas Smith about writing short fiction for The Creative Penn podcast.

Emily Wenstrom recommends three types of social media posts you should be using. DIY MFA

Stacy B. Woodson shares seven lessons she learned from Lisa Gardner at Crime Bake. DIY MFA

Gabriela Pereira interviews Ada Palmer about writing speculative fiction for DIY MFA radio.

Gabriela Pereira: creativity is craft and it belongs to everyone. TEDxWilmingtonWomen

 

My latest contribution to DIY MFA: five reasons to book a writing cruise.

Jennie Nash stops by the Writers Helping Writers coaching corner: creating the perfect elevator pitch.

Jamie Raintree offers five ways to use the holiday season to benefit your writing career. Writers in the Storm

Jami Gold explains how to create scene endings that hook readers.

Jenna Moreci: common world building mistakes.

 

Chris Winkle lists five reasons your story is transphobic (and what to do about it). Mythcreants

As she turns 90, suspense still thrills Mary Higgins Clark. Lynn Neary for NPR.

Alison Flood: “Cat Person” author’s debut novel sparks flurry of international publishing deals. The Guardian

A.N. Devers: this is how a woman is erased from her job. Longreads

Michelle Dean: what makes someone a predator? The New York Times

Victoria Schwab: in praise of strange books. NPR

Ava DuVernay decided to direct A Wrinkle in Time so she could create new worlds. Evan Narcisse for i09.

Minute Physics: time travel in fiction rundown.

 

I hope your holiday celebrations were filled with joy, family, and friends.

Be well until Thursday!

tipsday2016

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, June 11-17, 2017

A smaller trove from the Tipsday vault this week.

Jane Friedman coaches you on how to immediately improve your query letter’s effectiveness.

K.M. Weiland shares five ways to write a (nearly) perfect first draft (and why you should try). Helping Writers Become Authors

Later in the week, Kate shows you how to use the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator to improve your characters.

Piper Bayard discusses the art of physical surveillance. Writers in the Storm

Emily Wenstrom answers the question, can Facebook ads really boost your author platform? DIY MFA

Oh yeah. It’s me. Talking about time travel. DIY MFA

And so I had to cram this in here: Natalie Zutter wonders, is time travel is science fiction or fantasy? 🙂 Tor.com

Gabriela Pereira interviews DIY MFA columnist and romance author Robin Lovett for her podcast. Now I have an earworm … Let’s talk about sexy, baby / let’s talk about you and me … 😀

Becca Puglisi demystifies worldbuilding. Writers Helping Writers

Remember that post I shared a couple of weeks ago that Foz Meadows took exception to? Yeah, well Janice Hardy takes on the topic, too: why you shouldn’t write every day. Janice makes some points that I seriously considering. I do work a day job and I regularly face burnout because I write like a maniac when I’m not working. Food for thought. Fiction University

Oren Ashkenazi lists five tropes that make a villain look incompetent (and how to avoid them). Mythcreants

Jenna Moreci: how to choose an editor.

 

Joanna Penn interviews Dan Blank on changes in the publishing industry and launching non-fiction books. The Creative Penn

Claire Light reviews WisCon, the world’s preeminent feminist speculative fiction convention. Literary Hub

Foxy Folklorist, Jeana Jorgensen, explains why the translation of the fairy tale collection you read matters. Patheos

And that, my friends, was you informal writerly learnings for the week 🙂

Come back for some thoughty on Thursday, and in the meantime, be well.

tipsday2016

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Feb 5-11, 2017

And here, for your edumacation, is Tipsday!

K.M. Weiland presents most common writing mistakes, part 56: unfulfilled foreshadowing. Helping Writers Become Writers

Later in the week, Kate explains why you should write a story with a plot.

Jael McHenry wonders, how do you cook your books? Writer Unboxed

June Stevens Westerfield: why you need a media kit, even if you aren’t published yet. Writers in the Storm

Michael Hauge joins the Writers Helping Writers coaching crew: does your character description create a powerful image? Then, Angela Ackerman advises how to accurately describe your character’s pain. Writers Helping Writers

Janice Hardy offers a simple trick to create a stronger first person narrative. Fiction University

Naomi Hughes returns to Jami Gold’s blog with her top three writing craft issues: how to spot ‘em, and how to fix ‘em. Later in the week, Christina Delay offers her five steps to avoid overwriting.

Constance Renfrow lists the eight most common reasons she sends a rejection. DIYMFA

Gabriela Pereira interviews Sebastian Barry on DIYMFA radio.

Jamie Raintree: writers, we are the lucky ones.

Kameron Hurley: yes, you can say no to your editor(s).

Katy Waldman looks at how sensitivity readers are changing the publishing ecosystem: is my novel offensive? Slate

Chris Saylor talks about capitalization on Marcy Kennedy’s blog.

Susan Spann wants pirates to beware: how to prepare and use a DMCA takedown notice. Writers in the Storm

Chris Winkle shares some lessons from the sloppy writing of The Tommyknockers. Mythcreants

Let’s go back to a future where science fiction does good time travel. Wired

David Mitchell offers his perspective on writing: “ignore everything else.” Joe Fassler for The Atlantic.

Publishers Weekly shares the full text of “Bad Feminist” author Roxane Gay’s Winter Institute 12 keynote speech.

Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura: Mr. Darcy, you’re no Colin Firth. The New York Times

Eeee! The Avengers: Infinity Wars teaser. i09

And that was your informal writerly learnings for the week.

See you Thursday *waves*

Be well until then.

tipsday2016

Nine (plus) world building resources

Open any book on writing fantasy or science fiction and you’ll find a section on world building.

Cover of "The Craft of Writing Science Fi...

Cover via Amazon

Four cases in point:

Bova writes a section on “Background in Science Fiction” in which he discusses the uses of background (back story and world building elements), offers a complete short story as an example, and then practical suggestions on how to apply the techniques he’s discussed in the context of the story.  Bova makes reference to the greats of SF (Bradbury, Niven) as well as to literary works to round out his advice.

Card also has a chapter on “World Creation” which he summarizes thusly:

How to build, populate, and dramatize a credible, inviting world that readers will want to share with you.

Kinda speaks for itself, doesn’t it?

Killian writes a chapter on “Creating Your Fictional World,” including the following topics: A symbolic reason; A sense of what is natural; Parallel worlds; and Fantasy worlds.

Gerrold’s book contains several chapters on world building: Setting the stage; To build a world; Detailing the world; Building aliens; Believability; and Fantasy worlds.

Once again, every book on writing SF or Fantasy will include a section on world building in one form or another.  The more you read about it, the more you learn and the better you get at this whole world-building thing.

Books specifically about world building

I’m going to start with a book by fellow Canadian Authors Association member, Sandra Stewart.  She offers workshops in world building based on this publication.  Go check out her site for more information, or to get a copy of her World-building Workshop Workbook.

Sandra’s philosophy is to build from the micro to the macro and she gets into all the details from arts and entertainment, through calendar, to war and wizards.  She covers common pitfalls too.

Three more from Writer’s Digest:

If you’re interested in creating planets and star systems, this is the book for you.  In fact, I’d recommend the whole of the Science Fiction Writing Series, which delves in-depth into Space Travel and Time Travel among other subjects.

Ochoa and Osier cover some topics, like space stations, spaceships, civilizations, and other technological jumping-off points that some of the other writers don’t treat in quite the same way.

Contributors include Terry Brooks and Sherrilyn Kenyon.  As detailed as the above references are regarding the creating of a science fiction world/universe, this book is just as thorough with respect to the creation of a fantasy world.  It covers law and commerce, costume, myths and legends, and castles among other topics.  It’s a great starting point for research.

And finally:

Though this book might more appropriately belong in the books on writing SF and Fantasy (above), Scott fills more than half of it, pp 27-120, with various aspects of world building.  Like Stewart’s World-Building Workshop Workbook, I’d recommend Scott’s book because it offers a woman’s perspective on the techniques of world-building.  Further, Scott was Harvard-educated, which makes her perspective even more unique.  Her apology, “A brief defense of Science fiction, or why does someone who went to Harvard write this stuff anyway?” is both a humorous and insightful look at how SF is really a way to deal with our essential discomfort about change.

If I’d wanted to go tub-diving in my basement storage, I could have come up with half a dozen more books to recommend, but it takes something really special to make me dare the Rubbermaid jungle 🙂  Yes, I’m a book-addict.  Ask my husband, and if you do, have a beer ready for him to cry into!

Do you have any books on or containing sections of world-building that you’d recommend?  Share in the comments so everyone can benefit!

As a friend of mine says … heading for Bedfordshire.