Saturday, 31 December 2016

Things To Come 1936 Film

It is strangely appropriate that in my research into the history of science fiction I should have reached Things To Come on New Years Eve!

H G Wells' Things to Come, as it was called in promotional material, was a 1936 British black-and-white science fiction film from United Artists, produced by Alexander Korda, directed by William Cameron Menzies, and written by H G Wells.

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Writers Should Be Readers

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, and I wish you a happy and productive New Year. May 2017 be the year that you finally get that book published, or whatever your dream is. I'm doing some serious reviewing and planning, so my goals are more achievable. I wrote recently about Strategic Planning for Writers - I heartily recommend it.

As a writer, it's important to be a reader, for lots of reasons. You need to be more aware of what's out there in your genre and you will be a better writer if you're steeped in good writing that you've read. I read every night in bed, sometimes for too long! I am a voracious reader, and Goodreads just sent me my year in review.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Expanding an Outline

Your initial idea for a novel is usually just a gem of an idea, which you think around and gradually expand it to an outline. This outline has to be expanded into a whole novel. Here are two ways of doing it:

Randy Ingermanson’s Snowflake Method of designing a novel starts with a one-sentence description which grows into a paragraph. Then you take each sentence of the paragraph and expand that into a paragraph, and so on. There are other techniques involved, but this is the core of it. Taking each part in turn and expanding it. I have used it and it works very well. He has even written a short novel about it, where the protagonist learns how to outline her novel – in a novel!

Saturday, 17 December 2016

King Kong 1933 Film


The original King Kong film was made in 1933 and starred Fay Wray. The idea for the story was created by Merian C Cooper and Edgar Wallace. It opened to rave reviews and has been ranked as the greatest horror film of all time, and the twentieth greatest film of all time.

Some of the special effects crew on the film came from working on the history-making film The Lost World. The film was so popular it was re-released five times, sold to television, and issued on laser disc, VHS and DVD. In 2005 Warner Bros. released their digital restoration of King Kong in a US 2-disc Special Edition DVD, coinciding with the theatrical release of Peter Jackson's remake.

According to Wikipedia, Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. plan to release a Kong prequel/reboot film titled Kong: Skull Island, set to be released in 2017 and directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

yWriter Novel Writing Software

This week I want to introduce you to yWriter software, which I use to write all my books. It’s free software, created by a writer, which helps you to outline and write your novel. It’s produced by Spacejock Software, and available here.

The Blurb on Their Website says:
If you're just embarking on your first novel a program like yWriter may seem like overkill. I mean, all you have to do is type everything into a word processor! Sure, but wait until you hit 20,000 words, with missing scenes and chapters, notes all over your desk, characters and locations and plot points you've just added and which need to be referenced earlier ... it becomes a real struggle. Now imagine that same novel at 40,000 or 80,000 words! No wonder most first-time writers give up.

I say:It’s a great way to organise writing your novel. You begin by setting up chapters, and scenes within each chapter. Each scene has a title, point of view character, and a description. This is the detail of your outline. Then you write the contents of each scene. It’s simple to rearrange the work – you just drag scenes into other chapters, or create new scenes or chapters.

There is also the facility to analyse elements of each scene. A separate tab records whether the scene is action or reaction, plot or subplot, timings and status (Outline, draft, 1st edit, 2nd edit or done). Of course, it takes more than two or three edits to polish a novel, but it does help to keep track of how much work you’ve done on different scenes.

You can also list and describe characters, objects and places, which get linked into the scenes in which they appear. This helps you keep track of them and you can easily look up the details if you forget whether someone’s eyes are supposed to be brown or blue.

There are various reports to enable you to list just headings, descriptions or the whole contents to work on, and to transfer the novel to Word or whatever word processor you use.

It’s easy to use and it’s free. What more could you want? Sorry, you have to supply the inspiration.


Ann Marie Thomas is the author of three medieval history books, a surprisingly cheerful poetry collection about her 2010 stroke, and the science fiction series Flight of the Kestrel. Book one, Intruders, is out now. Follow her at http://eepurl.com/bbOsyz

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Metropolis 1927 Film

Metropolis was an expressionist epic science fiction drama film made in Germany in 1927. The silent film was directed by Fritz Lang and written by him and his wife, Thea von Harbou. Filming took place in 1925 at a cost of approximately five million Reichsmarks.



Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Early Science Fiction Films

In my History of Science Fiction series, I think we should pause to look at early films. The first science fiction film of all was Le Voyage dans la Lune in 1902, which I devoted a whole post to in October.
Le Voyage dans la Lune
Of course, science fiction posed a lot of problems for early film makers who didn’t have the technology or the techniques to create fantastic creatures and machines. Le Voyage dans la Lune was created using stop-motion. Jules Verne's classic 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was made into a film in 1916.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Book Finished!

I talked about NaNoWriMo at the beginning of the month and what my plans were. National Novel Writing Month is an online challenge to write a 50,000 word novel during the month of November.

In the past I have written a new novel, but this time I added to a novel I had already started. Well, it's the end of November and I've finished, but not won the challenge. Not won, because I only wrote 37,398 words. Finished, because I finished the story.

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Brian Aldiss (History of Science Fiction)

Brian Wilson Aldiss, (born 18 August 1925 and still living) is an English writer and anthologies editor, best known for science fiction novels and short stories. Greatly influenced by science fiction pioneer H G Wells, Aldiss is a vice-president of the international H G Wells Society. He is also (with the late Harry Harrison) co-president of the Birmingham Science Fiction Group.

Brian Aldiss

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Strategic Planning for Writers


C S Lakin is a novelist, copywriter and writing coach with a website called Live, Write, Thrive full of brilliant advice. If you follow the link to her website a popup will invite you to join her mailing list, and offer you an ebook, Strategic Planning for Writers, as a reward for joining. Or you can find it in the sidebar. I recommend the site, and it’s worth joining, not just to get the book, but I want to tell you about the book.


Saturday, 19 November 2016

Lester del Ray (History of Science Fiction)

Lester del Rey (June 2, 1915 – May 10, 1993) was an American science fiction author and editor. He was the author of many books in the juvenile Winston Science Fiction series, and the editor at Del Rey Books, the fantasy and science fiction imprint of Ballantine Books, along with his fourth wife Judy-Lynn del Rey.
Judy-Lynn & Lester del Rey

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

How to Write Your Non Fiction Book

Here’s some good advice from Writing Magazine December 2009, with some comments from me for self publishers:


Identify a topic and audience
‘If you know your subject well and you are passionate about it, this will shine through your work and proposal.’
‘Each book needs a clear target audience and it’s important to be able to quantify the size of that audience to your target publisher.’

[You also need to be clear about this for yourself, even if you’re going to self publish]

Saturday, 12 November 2016

The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle

The Lost World is a novel released in 1912 by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (who I wrote about last week) concerning an expedition to a plateau in the Amazon basin of South America where prehistoric animals still survive. It was serialised in the popular Strand Magazine April–November 1912. The character of Professor Challenger was introduced in this book. The novel also describes a war between indigenous people and a vicious tribe of ape-like creatures.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Edward Malone, a reporter for the Daily Gazette, asks his news editor, McArdle, for a dangerous and adventurous mission in order to impress the woman he loves, Gladys Hungerton. He is sent to interview the cantankerous Professor Challenger, who has become notorious for claims made about his recent expedition to South America.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Instantly Improve Your Novel

I don’t know where I got this from, but it’s extremely useful, so I thought it would be good to share.


General
Replace words that tell with words that show.
Remove interpretation, let action speak for itself.
Replace passive verb constructions with active.
Identify, then remove or translate clichés.
Get specific. Replace general, informational language with rich narrative summary full of specific and meaningful images.

Character Introductions
Show them in action
Show them in conflict
Show them using key skills, attitudes, hobbies etc
Use vivid imagery
Show other characters’ reactions
Make use of setting
Drop some hints about backstory

To sum up: Craft your character introductions to tell us what’s most important about that person.


Ann Marie Thomas is the author of three medieval history books, a surprisingly cheerful poetry collection about her 2010 stroke, and the science fiction series Flight of the Kestrel. Book one, Intruders, is out now. Follow her at http://eepurl.com/bbOsyz

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Arthur Conan Doyle, Science Fiction Writer

Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle (22 May 1859 – 7 July 1930) was an Irish-Scottish writer and physician, famous for creating the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes and revolutionising the field of crime fiction. But he is also known for writing the fictional adventures of a second character he invented, Professor Challenger, who journeyed to the famous Lost World.
Arthur Conan Doyle
He was a prolific writer whose other works include fantasy and science fiction stories, plays, romances, poetry, non-fiction and historical novels.

Conan was in fact only his middle name, and most official references call him Arthur Doyle. He added the Conan as a kind of compound surname shortly after he left high school.

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

NaNoWriMo Scheming



November is NaNoWriMo month: National Novel Writing Month. A story needs to be at least 50,000 words long to be called a novel. Most novels are over 70,000 words. NaNoWriMo is a challenge to write 50,000 words in one month.

I have entered NaNoWriMo several times in the past, but only made the 50,000 words once. Not because I couldn’t write an average of 1,667 words a day, but because I ran out of plot! This has taught me that my plots are not complex enough, my characters not deep enough and my descriptions not detailed enough.

Saturday, 29 October 2016

The Sleeper Awakes by H G Wells

How would you like to rule the world? Harry Secombe sang a song If I Ruled the World, which painted a rosy picture of peace and happiness. But how would you enforce it? How would you deal with those who didn’t want to be ruled by you?




H G Wells wrote a story about just such a problem, When the Sleeper Wakes, that was serialised between 1898 and 1899. It was rewritten as a novel, The Sleeper Awakes in1910. His view of the future is decidedly dystopian.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Head Hopping

I wrote last week about point of view (POV) and the problems it caused and solved. I decided to overcome the POV problems by using three different points of view, told by a narrator.

Man_looking_through_a_telescope

The important thing is to make it quite clear which point of view each section of the story is from. The sections have to be clearly delineated to avoid confusing the reader. But when you are writing, it is SO easy to hop heads without even noticing.

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Rudyard Kipling’s Influence on Science Fiction

I was surprised to find it could be argued that Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) has exerted the most lasting influence on modern science fiction. Poul Anderson says, ‘His influence pervades modern science fiction and fantasy writing.’

Rudyard_Kipling (w)

Although his best-known work is not science fiction, Kipling wrote stories whose subject-matter is explicitly science-fictional. With the Night Mail: A Story of 2000 AD portrays futuristic aviation in a journalistic present-tense. The Eye of Allah deals with the introduction of advanced technology into a medieval society that may not be ready for it.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Point of View

Man_looking_through_a_telescope

Point of view (POV) is the term for who is telling the story in a book. Most books are written in the third person, as an independent narrator, who may or may not reveal things that the characters in the book don’t know. This is the way I write.

The problem with this POV is that it’s possible to be distanced from the events you’re talking about, do too much ‘telling’ and not enough ‘showing’. Then your readers won’t connect with your characters, won’t care about them. You need to get inside your characters’ heads, show what they’re thinking and feeling.

Monday, 17 October 2016

Le Voyage dans la Lune Science Fiction Film


Voyage_dans_la_lune_title_card

Le Voyage dans la Lune (A Trip to the Moon) is a 1902 French silent film directed by Georges Méliès. It was inspired by a wide variety of sources, including Jules Verne's novels From the Earth to the Moon and Around the Moon

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Erewhon by Samuel Butler (History of Science Fiction)

Erewhon: or, Over the Range is a novel by Samuel Butler which was first published anonymously in 1872. Erewhon is a fictional country discovered by the protagonist. Butler meant the title to be read as "nowhere" backwards even though the letters "h" and "w" are transposed, as it would have been pronounced in his day (and still is in some dialects of English).




The first few chapters of the novel dealing with the discovery of Erewhon are in fact based on Butler's own experiences in New Zealand where, as a young man, he worked as a sheep farmer for about four years (1860–64), and explored parts of the interior of the South Island.

Saturday, 1 October 2016

The Unparalleled Adventure of One Hans Pfaall by Edgar Allen Poe

This is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe published in the June 1835 issue of the monthly magazine Southern Literary Messenger, and intended by Poe to be a hoax. He is best known for stories of mystery and the macabre, and invented the detective fiction genre. Some of his stories, like this one, were part of the emerging science fiction genre.


Edgar Allen Poe
Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) was an American writer, editor, and literary critic.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Find a Market Early

When a book is published, you have to market it, to attract buyers. Even if you’re traditionally published, the publisher will want to know who you think will buy the book, as part of your pitch. But the time to think about markets is long before that. In fact I would recommend you consider it long before the book is finished, or even before it’s started.

Speech 3

Saturday, 24 September 2016

The First Men in the Moon by H G Wells

The First Men in the Moon is a scientific romance published in 1901 by the English author H G Wells, who called it one of his ‘fantastic stories’.

Menmoonfront.jpgfrontispiece of 1906 edition

The narrator is Mr Bedford, a London businessman who withdraws to the countryside to write a play, by which he hopes to alleviate his financial problems. Bedford befriends Mr Cavor, a reclusive scientist, and learns he is developing a new material, cavorite, which can negate the force of gravity.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Reference Books and First Drafts

Stephen King has lots of great advice on writing, and he should know. Here’s an interesting one that makes a lot of sense, but I don’t know if I could do it. How about you?

Stephen King

Never look at a reference book while doing a first draft

Saturday, 17 September 2016

The War of the Worlds by H G Wells

The War of the Worlds is a science fiction novel by English author H G Wells first serialised in 1897 in the UK by Pearson's Magazine and in the US by Cosmopolitan magazine. It is one of the earliest stories that detail a conflict between mankind and an extraterrestrial race, and is one of the most commented-on works in the science fiction canon.

War_of_the_Worlds_original_cover_bw

The War of the Worlds presents itself as a factual account of the Martian invasion. The narrator is a middle-class writer of philosophical papers, with characteristics similar to author Wells at the time of writing. The reader learns very little about the background of the narrator or indeed of anyone else in the novel; characterisation is unimportant. In fact none of the principal characters are named, aside from the astronomer Ogilvy.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

First Thoughts

How often do we talk about second thoughts? Maybe there is merit in capturing your first thoughts. Try this: (adapted from Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg)
Thinking
The basic unit of writing practice is the timed exercise. You may time yourself for ten minutes, twenty minutes, or an hour. It’s up to you. At the beginning you may want to start small and after week increase your time, or you may want to dive in for an hour the first time. It doesn’t matter.

Saturday, 10 September 2016

The Invisible Man by H G Wells

The Invisible Man is a science fiction novella by H G Wells. Originally serialized in Pearson's Weekly in 1897, it was published as a novel the same year.


A mysterious man, Griffin, arrives at the local inn of the English village of Iping, West Sussex, during a snowstorm. The stranger wears a long-sleeved, thick coat and gloves; his face is hidden entirely by bandages except for a fake pink nose; and he wears a wide-brimmed hat.

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Character or Plot?

David Baboulene is an author, scriptwriter, story consultant and PhD scholar of story theory. His book The Story Book features revolutionary new thinking on what makes stories work. I highly recommend it.

David Baboulene

He wrote a series of articles in Writing Magazine which are enormously helpful. Here is some of what he says:

Saturday, 3 September 2016

The Island of Doctor Moreau by H G Wells

The Island of Doctor Moreau is an 1896 science fiction novel by H G Wells. It’s a classic of early science fiction and remains one of his best-known books.




It’s the account of Edward Prendick, an Englishman with a scientific education who survives a shipwreck in the southern Pacific Ocean and is rescued by a passing ship. He meets a man named Montgomery and his grotesque bestial native manservant M'ling. The ship is transporting a number of animals which belong to Montgomery. As they approach the island, Montgomery's destination, the captain demands Prendick leave the ship with Montgomery.

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Character Arcs

When I started writing I was entirely plot driven. I had a story I wanted to tell, an adventure where people got into difficulties and had to find a way out. Then I realised that no one would care about my story if they couldn’t identify with my characters.

Sorrow
It is difficult sometimes to remember that the characters have to progress as well. Characters must be well-defined and rounded, so that readers can get involved in their story. The main character(s) have to have their own development, have to go on their own journey. Sometimes I forget that.

Saturday, 27 August 2016

The Time Machine by H G Wells

The Time Machine is a science fiction novel by H G Wells, published in 1895. The term ‘time machine’, coined by Wells, is now almost universally used to refer to a vehicle that allows someone to travel forwards or backwards in time.

H G Wells (w)

Wells had considered the notion of time travel before, in a short story titled ‘The Chronic Argonauts’ (1888). This work, published in his college newspaper, was the foundation for The Time Machine.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Writing Layers–Structure

As I learned and grew as a writer, I went back over and over my novel to add more layers to it. In this series I’m writing about each of my ‘layers’ in the hope it will help someone who is starting out. This week we finish by looking at structure.

bamboo-scaffolding-01

Of course, structure is really the foundation of the novel, on which all of the other layers are built.  The reason I’ve only mentioned it now, at the end of my series, is because it has just jumped up and demanded my attention.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Writing Layers - Feelings & Senses

As I learned and grew as a writer, I went back over and over my novel to add more layers to it. In this series I'm writing about each of my 'layers' in the hope it will help someone who is starting out. This week we look at feelings and senses.

Head in hands

Your characters will come across as wooden if they don't show emotions, but don't take the shortcut of having them say how they feel. Show it and let the reader work it out. It will draw the reader in as they feel along with the characters and give them a sense of achievement as they guess correctly. Don't have a character say, 'I'm so angry, ' show the thin lips, the tapping foot, the clenched fists.

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Hugo Gernsback (History of Science Fiction)

So far in this history of science fiction I have concentrated on authors and their books, but we mustn’t forget the publishers who put these works in front of the reading public. The popularity of science fiction increased enormously with the publication of the first science fiction magazine. This brought short stories and affordability to a larger market. But it was not all plain sailing – especially for the authors who wrote for him.

Hugo_Gernsback

Hugo Gernsback (August 16 1884 – August 19 1967), was a Luxembourgish-American inventor, writer, editor, and magazine publisher, best known for publications including the first science fiction magazine. His contributions to the genre as publisher were so significant that, along with the novelists H G Wells and Jules Verne, he is sometimes called ‘The Father of Science Fiction’. In his honour, annual awards presented at the World Science Fiction Convention are named the ‘Hugos’.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Writing Layers – Description

As I learned and grew as a writer, I went back over and over my novel to add more layers to it. In this series I'm writing about each of my 'layers' in the hope it will help someone who is starting out. This week we look at description.

Messenger

I like dialogue, and get really absorbed when I'm writing it. But in my dialogue most action stops while people are talking. It's as if the people talking are in a bubble. The next layer I discovered was description, and not just for dialogue.

Saturday, 6 August 2016

H G Wells (History of Science Fiction)

Herbert George Wells (21 September 1866 – 13 August 1946) was a prolific English writer in many genres, including the novel, history, politics, and social commentary, and textbooks and rules for war games. Wells is now best remembered for his science fiction novels, and is called the father of science fiction, along with Jules Verne and Hugo Gernsback. (I wrote about Jules Verne a few weeks ago and Hugo Gernsback is next week.)

H_G_Wells_pre_1922

His most notable science fiction works include The Time Machine (1895), The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896), The Invisible Man (1897), and The War of the Worlds (1898). Also The Sleeper Awakes (1910) and The First Men in the Moon (1901). I will be sharing the plots of each of these in the weeks to come.

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Writing Layers – Subplots

As I learned and grew as a writer, I went back over and over my novel to add more layers to it. In this series I'm writing about each of my 'layers' in the hope it will help someone who is starting out. This week we look at subplots.

Writing

One of the main reasons my story wasn't long enough to be a novel was because there were no subplots. Just like real life, there should be lots of things going on at the same time. Your heroine may be facing a crisis in her marriage, which is the main story, but she still has to cope with the other aspects of her life, like situations in work or with friends or neighbours.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Writing Layers – Conflict

As I learned and grew as a writer, I went back over and over my first novel to add more layers to it. In this series I'm writing about each of my 'layers' in the hope it will help someone who is starting out. This week we look at conflict.

Angry

I was aware that there needs to be conflict to make a story work. If the hero wants something and then he gets it, that's not a story. There needs to be a struggle. But I didn't think about other conflicts within the story. My story is about a small space ship that spends weeks at a time on patrol, and the crew all get along perfectly fine. Then they get overcrowded, and nobody minds.

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Vril: The Power of the Coming Race

This is the title of a book published in 1871 by Edward Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873). He was an English novelist, poet, playwright, and politician. In 1862 he was offered the crown of Greece when the king abdicated (he refused), and in 1866 he became the 1st Baron Lytton. He was immensely popular with the reading public and wrote a stream of bestselling novels which earned him a considerable fortune.

Edward_George_Earle_Lytton_Bulwer_Lytton

His novel Vril: The Power of the Coming Race drew heavily on his interest in the occult and contributed to the birth of science fiction. It tells the story of a subterranean race waiting to reclaim the surface of the Earth.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Writing Layers – Characters

As I learned and grew as a writer, I went back over and over my novel to add more layers to it. In this series I'm writing about each of my 'layers' in the hope it will help someone who is starting out. This week we look at characters.

Galaxy Quest

The film Galaxy Quest is about a group of actors from a Star Trek-type TV series who are kidnapped by aliens who need saving from invaders. They think the TV series is real. One of the actors plays a character with no name. He is convinced that means he is going to die. To keep a TV series going they can't kill off the main characters, so minor characters are introduced so they can be the ones to die.

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea is a classic science fiction novel published in 1870 by French writer Jules Verne, who I wrote about a few weeks ago.

20000_Leagues_Under_the_Sea,_book_cover,_first_English_edition_1873

The book was highly acclaimed when released and still is now; it is regarded as one of the premiere adventure novels and one of Verne's greatest works, along with Around the World in Eighty Days and Journey to the Center of the Earth.

The description of Nemo's ship, the Nautilus, was ahead of its time, as it accurately describes features on submarines, which at the time were very primitive vessels. The book has been able to age well because of its scientific theories.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Writing Layers

When I finally plucked up courage to actually start writing the science fiction stories in my head, I didn't know much about writing. I just wrote. I wrote down my plot, which needed some people to do certain things, so I made up some people. And that was that.

Pen

I was really pleased with my plot, but as a novel it just didn't work. For one thing it was far too short. I put it away while I thought about it and did some reading about writing. I learned, amongst other things, that readers need to care about your characters, so they need to be realistic and rounded. My characters were all cardboard: just devices to further the plot.

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Journey to the Centre of the Earth

Journey to the Center of the Earth is an 1864 science fiction novel by Jules Verne, who I wrote about two weeks ago. The story involves German professor Otto Lidenbrock who believes there are volcanic tubes going toward the centre of the Earth.



A_Journey_to_the_Centre_of_the_Earth-1874

The story begins in May 1863, in the Lidenbrock house in Hamburg, Germany, with Professor Lidenbrock rushing home to peruse his latest purchase, an original runic manuscript of an Icelandic saga written by Arne Saknussemm. While looking through the book, Lidenbrock and his nephew Axel find a coded note written in runic script which, when translated into English, reads:
Descend, bold traveller, into the crater of the jökull of Snæfell, which the shadow of Scartaris touches (lit: tastes) before the Kalends of July, and you will attain the center of the earth. I did it. Arne Saknussemm

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Square Brackets to the Rescue

When you’re writing your novel, do the words always flow? Do the ideas always come in the right order? Do you always have all the information you need at hand while you’re writing a scene? If you do, I’d like to meet you, because you are a phenomenon.

[Square brackets] to the rescue.

Inspiration
Piers Anthony

Author Piers Anthony writes an epilogue in the back of each of his books about how he wrote it and what went on in his life at the time. They are a fascinating insight into how he works. While he is writing one story, he will often get an idea for another one. He doesn’t want to lose that inspiration, but he doesn’t want to stop the flow of what he’s currently writing. So he writes the new idea in square brackets and carries on.