an Interview with
science fiction and fantasy writer
to issue # 6. This marks the end of our first
year in publication, and I would like to thank both the readers and contributors
for making Holly Lisle's Vision: A Resource for Writers such an unexpected
success. I would also like to express my personal gratitude to our
hardworking Copy Editor, Beth Adele Long, who has worked so hard to keep Vision
you also to Holly Lisle, who has inspired all of us at Vision and the Forward
Motion Writer's Community to work harder and expand our imaginative horizons.
Theme for Issue # 6 is Seasons and Holidays, and
you'll find articles on how to correctly use weather in worldbuilding and how to
create holidays for your fantasy and alien worlds. There are also several
genre-related articles, a new Advanced Writing section, and much more. Be
sure to read the great interview with writer Rob
Chilson, and read over the rules on Fair Use
for Speculative Writers by John Savage.
hope you enjoy the articles. Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
to let us 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
...pieces offered by members of the Forward Motion Writers'
Community in the wake of the disasters of September 11, 2001. Some
are readings from which they found solace and others are original pieces they
wrote to help heal the loss.
...The major changes have been on the marketing side.
And of course nowadays you can use naughty words and even talk about
“grown-up things” which we couldn’t do in SF, and even in mainstream, when
I was learning.
and Kids' Stories by Justin Stanchfield
Sadly, too many
children's stories follow predictable, formulaic plot-lines. Santa Clause is in
trouble and needs rescue. A young child learns the value of sharing. A boy or
girl from one culture discovers the meaning of another culture's holidays. There
is nothing inherently wrong with any of these ideas.
Fictional Holidays by Robert A. Sloan
The easiest and simplest way to
create fictional holidays for fantasy and SF worldbuilding is to draw them from
real holidays and integrate them with your fictional world’s cultures.
in Fiction by Karen Pon
In fiction, the weather can have two functions.
There can be a significant weather event (a storm or a drought, for
example), which has a major effect on your story, or the weather can be in the
background, providing depth and ambience to your setting.
and Worldbuilding 101 by Karen Pon
you’re writing fantasy or SF, the chances are your story will be set on
another world. Whether you’re
building just a small section for your characters to play in, or creating entire
galaxies for their adventures, it’s important to have realistic climates.
But what influences climate?
Fauna, Fiction by Valerie Serdy
mother is an avid bird watcher. Through osmosis I learned robins are the
harbingers of spring, cardinals stay year round, and ironically named snowbirds,
looking like small lumps of dusty coal, arrive with the winter snows.
Ordinary Days by Lazette Gifford
often plays an important part in my stories, from a drought on an already
desolate world (leading to battle over the remaining water supply), to a
blizzard that masks a magical attack in a fantasy novel.
Defying Definition by Sarah Jane Elliott
am often surprised by the most frequently asked question I receive when people
learn that I write fantasy. I’m
met with a blank stare, or a smile and a nod, and asked,
“What is fantasy?”
Halloween: Breaking Down the Cliché by Ron Brown
it is now a full year away, it is not too early to begin considering Halloween
oriented pieces. In fact, when you
consider response times and publishing delay, starting now could help in getting
a story ready in time for Halloween theme deadlines.
Autumn in Poetry by Jennifer St. Clair Bush
caught me unawares again this year. I blinked in April and when I opened my eyes
the summer was gone, a passing memory never to return. The trees have begun to
Fantasy Adventure Writing by Christina Stiles
or module, writing fuses fictional elements like setting, plot, and characters
with a logical, nonfiction style. Not only must your plot weave an interesting
evening or two of gaming for the Game Masters’ players, but you must also
provide the Game Master with the technical information ... necessary to run
the adventure in the game for which it is written.
The Uses and Abuses of Mailing Lists by Anne M. Marble
know that most authors must depend on themselves to publicize their books.
You've learned that mailing lists can be a powerful tool for self-promotion.
However, to the unwary author, mailing lists can be a potential trap.
Fiction: Time and Holidays by Bob Billing
comes in different flavours. There's solar time, atomic time, universal co-ordinated
time, sidereal time, bedtime and harvest time - before we even start on those
created for science fiction.
and Mystery: Short Mystery Fiction by Ron Brown
considering mystery in the short form, many writers are faced with a dilemma
that seems insurmountable. How can
they, in limited space, both show the steps of crime-solving and develop
characters well enough to create a fulfilling and entertaining piece of fiction?
Adult and Children: The Sad State of Children's Literature by Vicki
American Academy of Pediatrics recommends reading aloud to a child twenty
minutes every day. That sounds
simple enough. Unfortunately, story
time is both my favorite time of day and my least favorite....
After reading them night after night,
I have come to dread the whole routine.
Use for Speculative Fiction Writers by John Savage
have all seen the term "fair use" (or, in Commonwealth countries,
"fair dealing"). Fair use is a significant issue when determining, for
example, how much of a poem or song lyric we can quote in our stories or novels
without running afoul of the Copyright Demons.
New Computer Health Threat by Cassandra Ward
to ergonomics, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is often considered to be a thing of
the past. We now have to worry about something even more insidious afflicting
our hands as we do computer work: tendonitis.
Views of World Con by Jae Brim, Lazette Gifford and Beth Adele Long
glad to say I made it back in one piece from my very first Worldcon, the 2001
Millenium Philcon in Philadelphia. Since I'd never gone to one of these,
or any type of con, I had no idea what to expect.
Through the Trenches by Vicki McElfresh
Yet many beginning writers believe writing a novel is simple, and once they
discover how much time-consuming, thankless work is involved, they often lose
enthusiasm and abandon the project.
You Write a Novel In... By Jennifer St. Clair Bush
year I participated in the 3-day novel contest held by Anvil Press. Compared to
that, the Book in a Week and the Book in a Month contests look tame, but they
might be just the things to get you up to speed.
Also: workshop, reviews, news
from the Forward Motion Community,
new guidelines, and more!