Archive for May, 2011

May 31 2011

Google Searches: May 17-May 31

Published by under Uncategorized

I provide advice about how to write novels, comic books and graphic novels. Most of my content applies to fiction-writing in general, but I also provide articles specifically about superhero stories.

  • How many words should a superhero novel have? For an adult superhero novel, I’d generally recommend 80,000-100,000 words.  If you’re writing for kids or young adults, please see these length guidelines instead
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  • Hilarious Secret Service stories. I swear I’m not making this up.
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  • the most commonly used comic book font–I’m not sure, but I doubt it’d be commercially available.  Marvel and DC have their own fonts in-house (e.g. the fonts of Chris Eliopoulos and Ken Lopez). If you’re submitting sample pages to a publisher, I’d recommend using a font publicly available on Blambots as a placeholder.  If the publisher wants to work with you, it will provide a letterer.
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  • What makes a good superhero novel? Two things stand out to me.  The first is characters that are interesting outside of action scenes. (Seriously, most superhero novels spend more than 75% of their length on nonaction scenes!  If the only aspect you have developed about your main character is what he can do in a fight, I can pretty much guarantee that the manuscript is dead on arrival).  The second is a premise more appealing than “A banal character gets superpowers through an unlikely accident and decides to become a superhero.”  Please stand out from the pack.  For example, how is your main character(s) different from the last 20 main characters the editor passed over?

 

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3 responses so far

May 31 2011

7 Things Guns Cannot Actually Do

How many times has a Hollywood protagonist screwed a silencer onto his pistol, cocked the hammer a few times, and delivered a perfectly silent shot or ten into the bad guy, causing him to fall backward and knock over a storage unit full of lead weights? There is so much wrong with that premise, and yet we see it all the time. It’s given many people a poor perspective on firearms, how they really work, and their capabilities. I’m here to help dispel these myths and improve the realism in your writing!

1. Guns are loud!

Crazy loud.  Without any ear protection, a gun battle is louder than a rock concert.  The cartoonish image of somebody’s ears bleeding after a loud sound is almost accurate if a gun battle were to erupt inside a building. Decibel levels of a gunshot can be 140dB, which is more than four times as loud as a common rock concert (115dB). (See this breakdown for more info.) It is worth adding, though, that when adrenaline (and even morphine) levels are running high during a fight-for-your-life scenario, strange things have happened where (in addition to expected things like tunnel vision) gunshots feel much, much softer, so it’s conceivable for a conversation to take place right after a gun shot.  However, this is incredibly unlikely.

 

2. “Silencers” aren’t.

They’re also more formally (and accurately) referred to as suppressors. Technically speaking, they suppress the concussive shock waves that are released from the barrel in front of the exiting bullet. Suppressors tend to greatly reduce the “boom” associated with gunfire, but the sounds of the actual explosion of gunpowder and all the metal moving parts on the gun are not really decreased at all.  Either way, it’ll be very loud.  For example, most suppressors on the market will bring a .22lr round from 160 dB (loud enough to rupture an eardrum) to about 120 db (a rock concert or jet engine).

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29 responses so far

May 29 2011

A Literary Superagent’s Thoughts on Publishing

The Wall Street Journal interviewed Andrew “The Jackal” Wylie (of the Wylie Agency).  Here are some excerpts that I think would be interesting to prospective authors (and maybe some published ones).

  • “As a general rule, we find that while the strongest market is usually the writer’s home market, it’s roughly equivalent to the rest of the world. And increasingly, what’s important is getting the rest of the world right. Fifty percent of American writers’ sales should be outside the U.S. That’s vital.”  [Fun fact: Superhero Nation’s audience is ~40% international].
  • “We try to avoid people who can’t write. You can usually spot them from the first sentence, or from the cover letter. It’s a little like sitting in the audience at Carnegie Hall and watching someone walk up to a piano. If you’re trained, you can tell the difference between someone who knows how to play and someone who doesn’t. Of course, sometimes you want to work with people who have a significant achievement, which is not writing, and so that usually requires closer editing, and ghostwriting. Heads of state are not always the best writers.”
  • “Things are generally tough and getting tougher across the industry. In the U.S., publishers are continuing to pay advances at pretty much the same level as five years ago, but they’ve reduced the number of high bets they’re making… Each house has a large number of titles to publish, and with a difficult economy, fewer people to handle the publications. But publishers need to become smaller, leaner, and they will have to learn new disciplines.”  [Note: Having fewer editors per title gives publishers less flexibility to publish manuscripts that will require a lot of editing, so your manuscript is pretty much dead on arrival if it’s not proofread carefully, unless you’re a head of state or something].

36 responses so far

May 28 2011

I really liked this raffle response

Published by under Superhero Nation

I’m writing a comic book series, The Taxman Must Die, that’s a wacky mix of an office comedy and a national security thriller.  Two unlikely secret agents– an accountant and a mutant alligator–have to save the world. From themselves, mostly.  Check out five free sample pages here! Please sign up for my TTMD raffle (no registration required) and you might win a free signed copy of The Taxman Must Die whenever it comes out.  Everybody else in the raffle will get one e-mail letting them know where they can buy it when it comes out.

 

PS: I’m also giving a free signed copy to the person that responded to  “Which city is closest to you?” with “I’m an international man of mystery” and “Which state/province are you from?” with “What part of ‘international mystery’ don’t you understand?”  I like your style, mystery man, even though I can’t use your demographic information in my pitch to publishers.  🙂

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May 22 2011

Some ideas on police standoffs

The New York Times has an article on police standoffs, which I think could be useful if you’re writing a scene where a protagonist deals with something like a hostage situation and/or a barricaded gunman.   For more information on this, I’d recommend checking out Stalling For Time: My Life as an FBI Hostage Negotiator. For the short version, here are some ideas I’ve gathered along the way:

 

1.  Even if you want to resolve the hostage situation with protagonists rushing in, negotiation can play a key role.

  • A tactical takedown is more likely to succeed with few casualties if the police have time to prepare.  For example, during the Japanese embassy hostage crisis in Peru, the police prepared by smuggling in communications equipment to hostages (so that they could learn what was going on inside), provided light-colored clothes to the hostages (so they could be easily distinguished), and scheduled their raid at a time when the hostage-takers liked to play soccer and would be away from the hostages.   To practice their strategy, the Peruvian commandos built a scale building of the compound, including the tunnels they had dug to carry out the raid.
  • Often, negotiators can convince the criminals to release some hostages and/or surrender.  (It’s harder for hostage-takers to keep control of large groups of hostages and the police may be willing to offer food and water in exchange for releases, so there is some incentive to release some hostages).  Best case scenario: Armed confrontation isn’t necessary.  Worst case scenario: If the protagonists do need to execute a raid, fewer hostages will be at risk.

 

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2 responses so far

May 21 2011

Freedom of the Void Review Forum

Published by under Review Forums

Freedom of the Void: Life wasn’t too bad for the crew of Saoirse (Sheer-sah). Sure they’d lost the war (well most of them anyway) and the Democratic-Republic* of Meridian has reinstated their control over the ring, with the exception of the Joumana System, and the only way they can eke out a living in this economy is thieving and smuggling, but things were relatively calm. That is until they rescue a young woman off a derelict who isn’t what she seems.

 

Freedom of the Void will be a series of 32 page comics, most of which will encompass a whole-nearly-stand-alone plot. The first issue has been written, just needs art. However, as it was the first comic script I ever successfully completed, it probably has my usual problem of too much dialogue, too small of a panel. I haven’t checked on it in the last month as I abandoned it for a story whose art I could do justice. Now I’m going back to it since I’m more inspired by this one.

 

*If you feel the need to repeat that your people are free, they usually aren’t.

 

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23 responses so far

May 20 2011

Will Your Manuscript Survive to Page 20?

Assuming your manuscript has survived to page 2, here are some thoughts about how to keep a publisher’s assistant reading to page 20. At a major novel publisher, the PA rejects ~995 out of each 1000 unsolicited manuscripts and sends on the rest to her boss.  PAs are under huge time constraints and have other job responsibilities (really!), so the only way for them to get through the slush pile is to stop reading manuscripts as soon as it’s clear they’re not among the very best. With that in mind, here are some of the shortcuts I would use to determine within 20 pages which manuscripts deserve more time and which don’t.

 

1.  As always, a manuscript with serious proofreading issues is dead on arrival. First, this is a generally reliable indicator that the story is not among the very best*.  Second, the more proofreading a manuscript needs, the more it will distract the editorial staff from their other duties (such as, umm, all of the other titles they’re working on).  If I were reviewing manuscripts for a publisher, I couldn’t envision any many circumstances where I would keep reading a submission with more than a few proofreading errors in the first 1000 words (~3 pages).  (Main exception: If the author is a celebrity or has a really interesting bio, such as experience as a Navy SEAL or SWAT officer, the publisher might be willing to put extra time into proofreading and/or ghostwriting).

 

*If you are an author that has gotten an unsolicited manuscript with more than ~10 typos professionally published, please let me know.  That must have been some story!

 

2.  I’d really like to see a main character quickly separate himself/herself from other protagonists in the genre. For example, he/she can do something that most other heroes in the genre wouldn’t do in the same circumstances.  If the main impression I get of the main character is “standard genre hero,” the character probably isn’t well-developed enough to hold my interest.  Relatedly, if the main character can be summed up in one word, I would regard that as a really bad sign.  If I’ve gotten through ~20 pages and the main character can be boiled down to “nerd” or “soldier” or “superhero” or “astro-ninja” or whatever, the characterization probably isn’t deep enough.  If I could use my own work as a positive example (even though I’m not a published author), I feel Agent Orange established himself as a lively, unusual sort of superhero.  Here’s what I did with 5 comic book pages in The Taxman Must Die (~200 words).  Given 20 novel pages (5000-6000 words), you can surely can do more.

 

3.  I’d really like to see the main character(s) doing interesting things as soon as possible. For example, if the story starts with a character waking up, I feel that’s a huge red flag unless the character’s morning routine is highly unusual and/or dramatic.  For example, if the character is woken up by artillery fire, that’s probably a good sign.  If the character has an ordinary morning leading into what seems to be an ordinary day of school, why not just skip to the interesting part?

 

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18 responses so far

May 20 2011

The CDC has a post on preparing for a zombie epidemic…

Unfortunately, it’s really just a generic “here’s what you should do to be ready for any disaster” plan with zombies thrown in for fun.  Food and medicine are great, but let’s be honest: You’re not actually ready for a zombie apocalypse until you have a machine gun and two bullets for everybody in the county.   (In case you miss, silly).

My zombie defense plan is counterintuitive, but it’s the most popular one in the world.

1. Get eaten.

2.  Whatever else happens, it’s not my problem.

 

5 responses so far

May 18 2011

Google searches

Published by under Superhero Nation

  • Why are editors laughing at me for “nonfiction novel?” Novels are always fiction.  If you’re writing nonfiction, I’d recommend pitching it as a “book” or something more specific (i.e. a memoir, a textbook, a machine gun ownership manual, a ninja survival guide, etc).  PS: I don’t think a professional would actually laugh at you for “nonfiction novel.”   Nobody you’d want to work with, certainly.  While “nonfiction novel” suggests the author is new to novel-publishing, it’s a minor mistake that won’t affect the manuscript much.  (In contrast, mixing up something like there/their/they’re will require major proofreading).  Laughing at someone for something so minor, particularly something rarely taught in school, suggests a serious lack of empathy.
  • How late can a superhero get his superpowers in a novel? Personally, I think it’d be perfectly fine if the origin story took up the first quarter (maybe the first third) of the book.  It’s okay if there isn’t a clear superhero element before then–if I could make a fantasy analogue, the first clear fantasy element in Harry Potter was Harry getting told he was a wizard, and I think that was around page 50 or 60.   I don’t think you need to rush into the superhero angle because it should be immediately clear (from your cover art, from the backcover blurb and probably the title) that it’s a superhero story.
  • How long is the average science fiction novel? For adult science fiction, I’d recommend submitting on the shorter end of 100,000-115,000 words.  Sci-fi (and fantasy) authors get a bit more room than most other novelists because their worldbuilding is usually more involved.
  • Am I an ailurophage? Unless Garfield and Nermal strike you as pretty tasty, no.
  • Why does Charleston Air Force Base have a pet alligator? To make its training course more interesting.  Or maybe to cut down on curfew violations.
  • How to write an awesome male character. I can be reached at superheronation-at-gmail-dot-com.  Oh, wait…
  • Character trait for being able to dodge unwanted situations. Savvy?  Intuition? A rocket-propelled grenade launcher?
  • Do comic book characters have to be likable? Some protagonists are misanthropes and/or nasty to the people around them (i.e. Batman).  However, even if the other characters do not like the protagonists that much, I think it really helps if the readers do.  For example, Dr. House’s tirades are icy and totally unprofessional but he’s hilarious enough that I think he comes across as very likable (even though I’d hate to work with him).  With villains, I don’t think likability is as important.  Readers can be impressed by and/or interested in a villain even if they don’t like him.  On the other hand, you wouldn’t want readers to dislike a villain so much they are raptly waiting for the next page without him.  (I’m looking at YOU, Gorilla Grodd).
  • Do police need a search warrant for a hotel room? If the suspect is still renting the room, then a search warrant (or the suspect’s permission) would be necessary.  If the suspect has checked out, the permission of the hotel staff will suffice.   (Legal reasoning: As soon as the suspect returns the room to the hotel, he has no expectation to privacy on whatever he has left behind).  For more details on warrantless searches, please read this.
  • Do superhero novels sell well? Generally, not really.  If they sold better, I think we’d see more of them published every year.  (In the past decade, fewer than ~50 independent titles have been published professionally).  There are a few bright spots, though.  The Wild Cards series probably sold pretty well.  It had 12 books published by Bantam, 3 by Baen and 4 by Tor, and I doubt they would have continued if the books hadn’t been selling.  The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay was a bestseller and I get the impression that Soon I Will Be Invincible did well.   In these cases, I think the authors had strong reputations or at least strong literary backgrounds.  The books were at least somewhat intelligent and I think that plays really well among adult novel readers.  If you’re trying to write the next Hulk (or, God help you, the next Dragonball Z) as an adult novel, I think your prospects are exceedingly grim because there’s not much demand among novel readers for a novel that’s essentially a comic book without pictures.  (By the standards of the novel publishing industry, comic books themselves don’t sell all that well–only one comic book cracked 100,000 sales last month).
  • What supervillain would you most want to be? Evil Editor.  Failing that, Bill Belichick.

11 responses so far

May 17 2011

CNN’s Quote of the Day

Watermelons do not burst only from rainfall.”  Memo to self: Don’t buy any Chinese watermelons.

9 responses so far

May 16 2011

Aine’s Review Forum

Published by under Review Forums

Hey, I’m Aine and I’m writing a sci-fi superhero comic book series.

 

Issue One:
“Jumpstart Evolution”
Danny and Eli get powers from an explosion that releases mutagenic gass at the mall and become superheroes to help protect the helpless and determine the origins of the gas.

 

Issue Two:
“The Advent of Cool”
There’s a new hero on the scene but she’s way too skilled for someone who just got her powers last week. Besides, what could she be running from this early in her superhero career?

 

Issue Three:
“The Revolution will be Televised”
The famous “rockstar*” comes to Edgemont. The only thing worse than her music is the fact she can control people’s minds through her songs. And the concert will be broadcast world wide…
*Actually makes pop music with lots of guitar, but in the end it is still pop.** You can tell because the album reads Scarlett Day, not NameOfBandHere.
**Think Britney Spears music with extra guitar.

 

Target Audience includes teens and young adults of either gender (being a female comic reader I get greatly annoyed we get left out when writers and illustrators tailor their work to an all male audience (Hence Starfire and Madeleine Pryor’s costumes) yet at the same time I recognize we female comic readers are minority and need to keep the male audience in mind if we want to be successful). People who liked the Teen Titans, early Spider-Man, and X-Men will probably enjoy this.

 

Spare nothing- I want to know how to attain mass appeal while staying loyal to my premise. If I do something that will turn off prospective readers I want to be because I choose so since I’m stubborn and don’t want to change, not because I’m ignorant and don’t know it could benefit from being changed.”

10 responses so far

May 05 2011

CNN’s dumbest article of the year?

Published by under News

Admittedly, it’s early, but they’ll have a hard time topping this.

15 responses so far

May 03 2011

13 Legal Warrantless Searches in the United States

If your characters are police officers, warrants are a hassle.  They’re designed to be (so that the police can’t just intrude on citizens’ privacy without cause).  To obtain a search warrant, the police must show a judge that they have “probable cause” (substantial evidence demonstrating that they’re likely to find evidence of a crime at the location or on the person specified on the warrant).

 

Reasons why a character might not be able or willing to obtain a warrant:
 

  • Time.  Under the best of circumstances, a police officer can get a warrant within an hour, but in smaller towns, there might not be any judges on duty in the middle of the night.  Also, judges will be slower to respond if the case is less urgent (i.e. no lives are at stake).
  • The police may not have probable cause yet.  Gotham’s police may find it suspicious that Bruce Wayne always seems to disappear right before Batman shows up, but that isn’t enough to get a search warrant for Wayne Manor.
  • Search warrants come with limits attached.  For example, if the police/district attorney can convince a judge that a murder victim’s body has probably been stashed at a house, the judge would probably allow a search of the house but only places where a body would fit. If the police started searching drawers or other small containers, any resulting evidence would probably be inadmissible.

So let’s say an American police officer doesn’t have a search warrant.  Under what circumstances can he legally search?

 

1.  The suspect voluntarily lets officers inside and/or consents to a search. “Hello, I’m Detective Smith and I have some questions.  May I come inside?”  If an owner lets the officer come inside, anything within plain view of the officer is admissible as evidence.  If an owner consents to a search, anything found is admissible.  Note: Consent must be freely and knowingly given.  If the officer uses deception or threats to obtain permission, any resulting evidence will probably be thrown out at trial.

 

2.  In certain circumstances, permission may be given by a third party. Third parties are almost always more receptive to searches because they have less reason to fear the police than criminals do. 

  •  A spouse (or anybody with equal rights to the property) can let police search.  Frequently, spouses don’t know about the criminal activity and will let the police look around if asked nicely.  One really effective tactic is emphasizing the possibility that the search may help clear the suspect.  (“We’ve received some troubling information about your husband and we’d like to clear his name as soon as possible.  Do we mind if we look around? We’ll leave everything like it was and you can watch us.  Or we can come back with a warrant later, but it’ll be messier”).
  • An employer can let police search a workspace (including lockers and computers).  “We’ve received some troubling information about your employee.  Could we check his computer?  We’ll be real quiet.”  Note that a manager may be leery about offering access if she fears that the company is somehow involved in the crime.  If so, police can gently prod the manager with veiled threats like “We can come back later with a warrant, but if we do, we’ll have to cordon off the building.  It’d be bad for business.”
  • Police can ask school officials for permission to search the lockers, purses and backpacks of minors without a warrant.  School officials don’t have much reason to decline such a request (they hate crime as much as the police do).
  • When a child lives with his parents, a parent can allow police to search the child’s space unless the child pays rent or has otherwise established exclusive, private ownership over his space.
  • A host can allow police to search a guest’s quarters. A landlord cannot.
  • Hotel employees can let police search a vacant room.  See #9 for more details.
  • Store-owners are usually very cooperative about sharing surveillance footage.  But you’ve got to be fast!  Many stores cut down on costs by retaping over old footage every few days.

 

3.  Exigent circumstances–action is immediately necessary to prevent physical harm, preserve evidence or prevent a suspect from escaping. For example, let’s say your officer is on patrol when he hears a scream from inside a building.  He would be entitled to force entry to investigate a possible assault in progress.  Anything he sees in the course of investigating this possible assault would be admissible, even if it wasn’t related to the assault (e.g. drug paraphernalia).

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8 responses so far

May 02 2011

How to Become a Super Self-Editor

Every writer needs beta-readers and every author needs editors, but YOU are the first line of defense when it comes to content and quality control. If anyone knows your writing intimately, the verbal tics and words you lean on too often, the character traits and archetypes you put into your work, it’s you.

That’s both quasi-tragic and wonderful.

It’s quasi-tragic because you’re an expert in your own writing and can’t see your own flaws.

It’s wonderful for the same reason. If you can step back and brutalize your own writing, your finished manuscripts will have a sense of polish. It’s hard–the story and characters are your babies and you’ll do anything to keep them from harm–but necessary.

So let’s bring out your inner self-editor.

Put it aside, no matter how long it takes. The best time to self-edit is several days after you’ve finished a project. Maybe you need several weeks or a month, but you must mentally separate yourself from the story. When you do this, you’ll spot grammatical errors, inelegant language, poor plotting, repeated words, and hit-you-in-the-face foreshadowing lacking in subtlety.

Just print it, baby! The “green” among us will hate this one. Print out a physical copy of your work to catch your mistakes. It’s too easy to gloss over problems on a computer screen. If the idea strikes you as environmentally unfriendly, try reading your work on a device other than your computer…something like a smartphone or e-reader. Changing up the reading format helps you read your work with fresh eyes.

Activate the T-800 Adverb-inator. Writers and editors are embroiled in an all-out War on Adverbs. Unleash the T-800 Adverb-inator. In many cases, you can eliminate adverbs and replace them with stronger verbs. Whenever a sentence starts to rhyme from all the “-ly” words in it, you need to pare it down. The less often you use adverbs, the more impact the ones you do use will have. If you’re using Word, employ the “Find and Replace” feature and search “ly.” The results will amaze you.

“That” doesn’t always fly. The word “that” has many uses. The fish was that big. The horse that won the race is from champion stock. That movie was great. In many cases, “that” can go. Some sentences need it for flow or clarification purposes…and if it feels right to use “that,” by all means do it. However, you can trim it most of the time.

Comma comma down dooby doo down down… Breaking up is hard to do, but using commas correctly can prove even more challenging. Nothing is worse than the meandering, paragraph-long sentence that’s really several sentences strung together with commas. In most cases, shorter, punchier sentences are easier to follow.

Theme show. Not every story starts with some grandiose, life-changing theme. Like it or not, your story has some theme or purpose tied to it, even if it’s not explicitly stated. Make sure to identify the theme, no matter how elusive it may be.

“Be” aware. Action verbs, action verbs, action verbs! The verbs of “be” are flexible and familiar. They work well with adverbs, but limit your arsenal. Action verbs engage readers and turn so-so prose into memorable writing.

Get some perspective…and stick with it. When working with a first-person narrative, watch out for writing stating what another character is thinking. In third-person writing, look for any jarring changes in perspective, especially in stories with multiple points of view. A scene starting from a certain character’s perspective should never deviate from that perspective.

What’s the consistency? Character traits and motivations should not inexplicably vary from scene to scene or page to page. Think about it like this: Your very best friends usually won’t surprise you with their behavior. You know them well enough to predict what they’ll say or how they’ll react. Characters should be like your very best friends. When they do something inconsistent with their personalities, you should identify it with laser-like precision.

Read it. Out loud. People may look at you funny, your significant other may tell you to shut up, and you may feel uncomfortable. However, this is the best way to get a feel for the rhythm and flow of your words. Read the whole thing aloud…you’ll be amazed at how many mistakes you’ll pick up. Your brain won’t “fill in the blanks” when you read aloud, allowing you to find missing words, awkward structuring, etc.

End it, already. Writing an effective ending is one of the hardest things to do. A good self-editor feels the pace of the story and understands when it reaches its conclusion. Writers easily succumb to pitfalls like false endings, unnecessary epilogues, and thematic diversions. Understand the exact moment when the proverbial credits should roll.

Self-editing is only part of the revision process. You always need to have someone with a critical eye look over your work. And if you do know an experienced editor, make friends!

Matt Adams is a TV news producer whose short stories have appeared in A Thousand Faces, Wily Writers for Speculative Fiction, and anthologies from Library of the Living Dead Press.  He lives and works in Indianapolis, Indiana, with his wife and man-eating frog. You can check out more of his work at http://mattadamsauthor.blogspot.com.

12 responses so far

May 01 2011

Worldbuilding Rules

Published by under Research and Resources

If you’re writing a story with heavy worldbuilding, I’d recommend checking out K. Stoddard Hayes’ Worldbuilding Rules.  It’s a how-to blog with a lot of interesting articles about how to build innovative worlds and broaden your writing horizons.

 

  • What Does Your World Smell Like?:  This will help you incorporate smells into your story.  I don’t think smells come naturally to most first-world authors because we don’t encounter many on a daily basis.  That’s okay if you’re writing a story set exclusively in a sterile lab or a vacuum tube, but if you’re not, here’s some ideas about what you’re missing. 
  • Worldbuilding Legal Systems: If you’re building alien legal systems, this will help you keep them distinct from the ones closest to home.  Especially if you’re Norwegian–nobody wants to read about publicly drowning criminals in mayonnaise, you sickos.
  • Clothes and Setting: This provides useful ideas about picking clothing that is culturally and physically well-suited to your story.  (In case you’re saddled with characters that can’t rock out in trenchcoats and sunglasses).
  • Language in Worldbuilding: This has some helpful ideas about how to use language to reflect cultural attitudes and other ways of thinking.  You know how Eskimos supposedly have ~30 bajillion words for snow?  Starcraft’s Protoss need just as many ways to say “we’re screwed.”

 

PS: I’m looking forward to Hayes’ upcoming superhero anthology, Gods of Justice, and not just because it won’t have many executions-by-mayonnaise.  She and Kevin Hosey really know their stuff.

6 responses so far