Some Rules on Writing

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In 1947, author Robert A. Heinlein published “On the Writing of Speculative Fiction.” In it, he made clear his now-famous 5 rules of writing.
  1. You must write.
  2. You must finish what you write.
  3. You must refrain from rewriting, except to editorial order.
  4. You must put the work on the market.
  5. You must keep the work on the market until it is sold.
As my husband would say, these are all of them SIMPLE RULES but none are EASY. There’s a difference. In theory, anyone CAN do these things but that doesn’t mean they are easy to do well, consistently, and with passion. And that’s the kicker, isn’t it? These all require more than passion. Passion will kick-start a project but only perseverance and dedication can see you through a novel manuscript or the fifth re-write of your short story. So keep going.Keep writing, keep editing, and keep trying to sell your work!
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In Defense of Jargon

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The writing and critique group I attend (almost) weekly is divided: how much sci-fi or fantasy jargon is too much? With such a wide variety of writers who pursue different styles, there’s polite disagreement on almost everything we bring up – but the issue of made-up words seems to be a hot one lately.

As a lover of fantasy and science fiction both, I believe in the power that jargon can bring to the page when it comes to creating a world. I don’t want to smack my readers in the face with excessive comparisons and descriptions based on objects they already know. I want to challenge them, to push them, to make them feel like they really are in a living, breathing other world.

When a reader is presented with new vocabulary or made-up words and languages, that’s a chance to really get him engaged. When she is looking at new jargon in the context of the new world, she’s taking some time to puzzle over the words while exploring a new place.

And that’s what I want! If I’m creating a whole new world for my readers and characters to explore, I want it to have a heartbeat that’s different from our own. I want the reader to hear that quiet thump-thump rhythm and fall into it headfirst, running wild through an unexplored place.