Writing Sci-Fi? First Understand How Elephants Aren't Dragonflies (Op-Ed)
space.com – Saturday March 26, 2016
Animals come in all different sizes, but the laws of physics mean that you can't just arbitrarily scale up a dragonfly to the size of an elephant and expect the body plan to result in a functioning creature.
For one thing, mass increases much faster than other qualities like strength or surface area as you scale up a body, and so the legs and wings of an elephant-size dragonfly would have to be proportionately much larger to support the extra weight — and it's doubtful muscle power could be sufficient to propel such a creature into flight.
Moreover, insects are generally small because they rely on diffusion to distribute oxygen to interior cells instead of the active oxygen-pumping systems found in animals like mammals. This imposes an upper limit on just how big an insect can get. It's true that there were gigantic dragonflies — still not the size of elephants, however — during the Carboniferous period (as well as housecat-size cockroaches and other horrors), but the oxygen level in the atmosphere at the time was much higher, and that likely played a role in making such bodies viable.
Let's pause for a moment and give thanks for the fact that we don't have to live in a world of pet-size cockroaches and meter-long scorpions.
All of this presents an analogy for fiction. It's tempting to think of novels (the elephants) as scaled-up short stories, or short stories (the dragonflies) as miniaturized novels. But having written both 100-word drabbles as well as 200,000-word epic fantasies, I can assure you that's not the case.
The Impossible Task of Writing Historical Fiction
publishersweekly.com – Friday March 25, 2016
Kelly Kerney's outstanding novel Hard Red Spring spans the entire 20th century in Guatemala's history through four vivid voices. Kerney, who spent a decade writing the book, talks about the difficult task of fictionalizing the past.
50 Writing Tips From My 15 Years As An Author
forbes.com – Wednesday March 23, 2016
One of the questions I’m asked on a daily basis is some form of, “I want to become an author. Can you help?” There are certainly better people to ask than me. But after writing hundreds of articles and nine books in 15 years—both traditionally published and self-published, both non-fiction and fiction, both epic failures and national bestsellers—I do have some thoughts on the matter.
Writing Should Be Fun
huffingtonpost.com – Tuesday March 22, 2016
Yes, writing should be fun, and for most writers - even those writers who complain about writer’s block, and who claim they like having written more than writing, and who say writing is like sitting at a desk until blood comes out of your forehead - writing is fun. They just don’t recognize the fun when it’s happening. That’s because writers are overwhelmingly adults, and fun is what adults get to have when they’re done doing their important adult work.
10 Struggles All Creative Writing Majors Understand
bustle.com – Sunday March 20, 2016
I have a degree in creative writing. And I'm pretty sure they won't refund me if I try to return it. So I have chosen to be proud of my degree. When I tell people that I majored in creative writing, though, I usually get a response that ranges from sympathy to out and out horror. People want to know why my parents allowed me, their only child, to throw away my future on a creative writing degree (but my parents are both professional actors, so they actually think of writing as a very solid and employable career path).
Finally Finish Your Novel With These 10 Writing Apps for iOS
pastemagazine.com – Friday March 18, 2016
The App Store is teeming with great apps for helping you keep short notes on your iPhone or iPad, but it’s not just there for reminding you to pick up milk or to email someone. There are plenty of apps that allow you to write much longer pieces in a convenient format – whether it’s an essay or the start of the next Oscar winning blockbuster. Here are 10 great apps for writing long form pieces on the move.
Selling Your Writing To Boating Magazines
cruisingworld.com – Thursday March 17, 2016
In kindergarten I was tasked with making a shoebox diorama that showed me engaged in my future vocation. The little cardboard me I cut out wasn't playing a professional sport or fighting a fire or walking on the Moon. Instead, Mini Me sat solo in the empty Vans shoebox, in a tiny cardboard chair, behind a tiny cardboard table, in front of a tiny cardboard typewriter. It wasn't a dream I chased very far. At some point growing up I was dissuaded by pragmatism. Having learned that I stood the same chances of becoming a successful writer as my kindergarten classmates did becoming a professional baseball player, I steered clear of ever being caught playing the dreamer.
4 Actionable Ways to Overcome Writer's Block
entrepreneur.com – Thursday March 17, 2016
Have you ever sat down to write and then . . . just sat there, not getting anything down? Whether you are trying to write a book, blog post or something entirely different, writer’s block is a real thing that will not only bring your progress to a grinding halt but will piss you off in the process.
3 Ways to Price Your Work for Your Freelance Writing Business
entrepreneur.com – Thursday March 17, 2016
In Moonlighting on the Internet, internet entrepreneur Shelby Larson presents the most reliable and proven ways you can create an extra paycheck for the short term and establish a continual revenue stream for the long term with your own website. In this edited excerpt, Larson offers tips on how to price your freelance writing projects.
You Can't Write Without a Leap of Faith
huffingtonpost.com – Wednesday March 16, 2016
The most important thing every writer has to do is take a leap of faith.
What does that mean, exactly? That, no matter how stuck you are at the start of a book, or how unwieldy your manuscript becomes as you wade deeper into it, you have to believe in yourself enough to keep writing.
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