Welcome to issue # 10!
Late, but worth the wait! We have an exceptional issue, and I hope you enjoy all of it!
In this issue our theme is animals in fiction... and real life. As you might expect, cats and horses abound in the theme material, but we have managed a few pieces on other creatures as well. But the theme articles are not the only material presented in this issue. The Advanced Writing Section is filled with advice from poisoning to editing, and the Genre Section has a number of exceptional articles.
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We would like to know what you think of Vision, and what types of material you might
find interesting in future issues.
is also available Adobe Acrobat™ and Palm Systems™ downloadable
versions. We also have a new archive section for the on-line
back issues. (Please note that Adobe Acrobat™ and Palm Systems™ versions will be
available one week after the html version is posted. This allows us to
catch as many typos and mistakes as possible before turning to formats that are
not as easy to correct.)
(Please note that Adobe Acrobat™ and Palm Systems™ versions will be available one week after the html version is posted. This allows us to catch as many typos and mistakes as possible before turning to formats that are not as easy to correct.)
Beth Hilgartner leads a varied life. According to her home page, she writes books, is an ordained Episcopal priest, and makes classical music (singing soprano as well as playing recorders). She also teaches private music students (beginning to intermediate piano, voice, and recorder), and makes recorders.
Earth Animals into Alien Life Forms
By S.L. Viehl
Here’s a bit of movie trivia you probably don’t know: Charles Bailey III, the Chief Model Maker and the man who helped created Stephen Spielberg’s E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1981), told a reporter that he inverted a domestic cat’s head when he made the preliminary sketches of the much-beloved alien’s face.
Your Eyes Open
By Valerie Serdy
Ideas for our writing can come from anywhere and everywhere. This is an old writing axiom, rather like "write what you know," and yet sometimes I forget the value it has for me. I grew up reading fantasy novels and internalized various conventions and clichés without realizing it.
the 'Wild' in the Wilderness
By Keri Bas
Whenever a character encounters a non-urban area, especially an untamed wilderness region, there are dozens of threats to health and survival that can go unnoticed. A character's trips through wooded areas or unfamiliar landscapes can easily become torture because of the natural dangers inherent in such an area.
Writer's Primer on Parrots
By Jami Geimer
Parrots are amazing birds, living jewels with the gift of communication with humans. They are also among the most intelligent of birds, with certain individuals functioning on a level similar to a three- to five-year-old human child.
By Bob Billing
Most would-be fantasy authors don't even meet horses regularly, let alone make use of them. But no work of fantastic fiction is considered complete without some four-legged transport. This has caused some horrifying bloopers in stories I've read recently.
By Jeri-Tallee Dawson
Horses are often an
essential part of the novels we write. They are the chosen mode of
transportation in a fantasy novel, a fancy hobby for a wealthy Lady in a science
fiction series, or the romantic heroine’s closest confidante. . Horses are
everywhere in fiction.
and Air: The Feeding a Fictional Horse
By Mary K. Wilson
Too many fictional horses exist on air and sunlight. In countless stories, a horse and rider gallop for miles, without any thought being given to the horse's stamina and energy levels, both of which are directly related to good nutrition.
Heritage of the Barnyard
By Justin Stanchfield
We live on an amazing planet: a world teeming with life, countless species of animals, some wild, some domestic, filling every conceivable niche. Sadly, too many fantasy stories populate the pages of their pre-industrial world with people, wolf-hounds, horses, and the occasional lap cat, neglecting to the point of absurdity the rich heritage of the barnyard.
in Fantasy:Cliché or Clichéd?
By Heidi Elizabeth Smith
I recently learned that many speculative fiction readers consider feline--and animal, in general--characters to be clichéd, to the point where magazines state in their guidelines, "No Cat Stories." As an unabashed cat-lover and an author of multiple stories (unpublished and currently in revision) featuring feline or felinoid main characters, I was surprised and, to tell the truth, a little shocked.
and Writers, One Cat's Opinion
By Aristophenes Mr. Robert's Cat Sloan
Cat civilization began when we
first domesticated some big primates living along the Nile in Egypt. Humans are
useful food givers who build good housing for us, care for our medical needs,
love, adore, and even worship us. Intelligent and easily trained, humans can
become like a member of your family.
Taught By a Siamese Friend's Life
By Cheryl Peugh
As the first clods of Missouri dirt covered the blue paint that read "Simba" on one side of the box lid, and "1980 - 98" on the other side, I thought of all the things the cat inside the box and I had been through in our lives together.
Persons in Print
By Alison Sinclair
One of your characters has murder in mind, but is not disposed to direct confrontation with sword, knife or morningstar, having neither the skill nor the temperament, perhaps (the psychology of poisoners is beyond the scope of this article). I hope in this article to hit some high points, point up some patterns and offer some possibilities on the menu.
Right to Revise
By Carol Stephenson
For those who receive an editor's revision letter
after submission, or at an appointment hear an editor say, "it sounds
interesting but….," or post sale have an editor who needs one more change
after another, my heartfelt condolences.
Color in Worldbuilding
By Steven Swain
your world, chosen your main characters and your villains, and figured out a
plot. You’re all ready to charge headlong into your novel, right? Sure, if you
want your novel to be bare of all background color.
Keeping a Writer’s Journal
By Peggy Kurilla
One piece of
advice, given to writers so often it’s almost a cliché, is to keep a journal.
What is less often covered is what to write in those journals and how
they can help your writing. In this article, I’ll cover four common types of journals
that can help you refine your writing.
Just for fun...
An Argument Against Reading Fiction
By T. L. Cobern
Reading fiction is a vile habit. The very act of sitting down to read removes me from the daily grind, from the pressure of reaching my wordcount goal for that day, and rewards me with nothing more than empty hands and mind at the end of said reading time.
Describing Fantastic Creatures
By Jeff Reeds
I have a problem with animals. The pesky beasts are popping up everywhere -- and no wonder. The novel I’m writing takes place at the end of the Bronze Age and its people are reliant on animals for work and for food.
Getting the Best Out of Your Bad Guys
by Teresa Hopper
have a confession to make: I love the bad guys in horror stories. There’s
nothing I enjoy more than sinking my teeth into a novel with a really well
written, scary bad guy in it. And they are often my favourite characters in my
own stories, more so than my heroes.
Mystery & Suspense:
Get a Clue: Using Clues to Map Your Mystery
By Rob Flumignan
Probably the toughest part about writing a mystery
comes when you’ve got three hundred or so pages stacked up and it’s time to
tie all the ends together and reveal "whodunit." Though there really isn’t any easy way to tackle the unique
and complex mystery form, there is a way to make the process slightly less like
performing brain surgery with a pair of crochet needles.
Characters Romance Readers Love #2: Heroine Junkies
By Gena Hale
Writing romance is all about "boy meets girl" – telling the story of how two people come together, go through various and sundry adventures, fall in love, and eventually commit to one another. Naturally one of the most important elements of that story is the girl – the main female character, aka the heroine.
The Curious Behaviour of the Altharian Tzog in the Night
By Bob Billing
animal into a story can sometimes be a useful plot device. In fact I have a
rough collie called Flora McDonald --Flossie to her friends -- in my current
work in progress. In this article I'd like to go through some of the ways in
which animals not only can bring out points about the human characters but can
also let you present things that would be difficult to say in any other way.
Meet the Moderators:
Meet James Milton
Moderator James Milton is an Australian, born in Brisbane -- a wonderful city to
grow up in, retaining, at that time, the charm of a small city with all the
facilities expected from the capital of Australia's fastest-growing state.
Forward Motion in A Nutshell
By Robert A. Sloan
It was amazing to meet people who posted entire sentences in chat! For the first time in my life, I wasn't considered weird. The pressing issues ,ideas, and technical problems that occupy way too much of my time and energy were common ones with this group.