Web Site Reviews
Lazette Gifford, E-publishing Moderator
Issue #1: 01/01/01
storytelling began, writers have searched for ways to better express their
imaginations and to reach the widest audiences. Today, help with those
problems can be found in a medium that is more substantial, but nearly as
ephemeral, as the wind. It's the World Wide Web. People who are
serious about publication often spend considerable time looking for
material on how to properly write, format and submit material. The
Web has a plethora of sites containing pertinent information, but how
reliable is the material once you find it?
considering the source is not always the best way to judge material
on the web, one site that undoubtedly can be trusted is the Science
Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc. (SFWA) page. You may
have thought SFWA is an organization representing only published writers; however http://www.sfwa.org has
articles aimed at beginners, the newly published, and the seasoned
professional. You do not have to be a member of SFWA to access most
of this information. The articles on these pages cover the issues of
writing and publishing, with essays ranging from common mistakes in grammar and
point of view, to manuscript preparation and finding an agent.
The Craft and The Business
is an art, and for those who wish to be published, it is also a business.
The SFWA site acknowledges the importance of both aspects. From the splash
page, the first link dealing with the craft leads to a nexus of fifty
separate links. You will even find (under External Links to More
Articles About Writing) Forward Motion Writer's Community. These
links in craft are divided into 'The Basics, Intermediate, and
the business section there is information on all kinds of contracts,
including electronic rights. Learning to recognize a good contract
and to know what clauses to avoid can save a new writer trouble over
also has an important 'Writer Beware' section that deals with scams
upcoming writers might face.
through the files on the SFWA site, you can take lessons from the masters
of the SF and fantasy genre. The articles found on this single web site
will bring you the earned wisdom of professionals such as C.J. Cherryh,
Poul Anderson and Elizabeth Moon, each taking the time to help
prospective writers improve their stories. There is even an article called
"Writing SF for Kids" by Justin Stanchfield, the Young Adult and Children's
Moderator at the Forward Motion Writer's Community.
some pointers on the basics? Beginners can choose essays from seasoned
writers Melisa Michaels, Roger MacBride Allen, and many others.
These articles dont just explain, they show the reader examples of what
to avoid when writing. Other articles reach beyond the basics to give tips
on plot development, character creation and choices in Points of view, and
many other issues of style.
are millions of words posted on the art of writing on the World Wide Web.
Every search engine will bring up numerous entries for any query about
writing. The knowledge base available from SFWA makes http://www.sfwa.org
a natural launching pad for those writers who search the web for the keys
to excellence in writing.
All material © 2001, Holly Lisle except where noted
versions of Vision