Category Archives: Writers on Writing

Navigating the Ocean of Story: Session 1, Continued

Ursula K. Le Guin

Selected from questions 51-97. They aren’t in order as they came in, because I am grouping questions with a common or similar subject together. Roccie: My question concerns the backstory. I find one of the hardest things to do is … Continue reading

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Write Hacks 6

by Madeleine E. Robins Timelines save my life. Over and over and over. Because, like Billy Pilgrim, I frequently become unstuck in time while in mid-story/book. A timeline is sort of like temporal scaffolding. In the same way that, when I’m … Continue reading

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Musing About Martial Arts (and Writing)


There’s a reasonable amount of overlap between martial artists and science fiction writers. I’m not sure why, except that possibly people who spend a lot of time sitting in front of a computer need a good physical activity to balance … Continue reading

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Write Hacks 10

I have gimmicks I use to handle all kinds of “I’ll get to that later” moments in first drafts. One of them I owe to an Isaac Asimov story that was written as a play called “Zeepsday.” Continue reading

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Write Hacks 5

Style Sheets The Old Fashioned Way by Deborah J. Ross Nowadays, you can find all sorts of software to help you keep track of characters, places, names, even geneologies. I still do this the way I learned to when I was … Continue reading

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Thoughts About Writing Inspired by Jo Walton

My Real Children

Jo Walton received her Tiptree Award for My Real Children at a celebration at Borderlands Books last Sunday. It was a festive event, attended by a large number of Bay Area readers and writers, and included wonderful cake from BVC’s … Continue reading

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Have Writing Questions for Ursula K. Le Guin?

Ursula K. Le Guin

Ursula K. Le Guin is now collecting more questions about writing for her blog series, Navigating the Ocean of Story. If you want to submit a question, use this form. Get your questions in soon. Session 1 of this series, … Continue reading

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Navigating the Ocean of Story – Session 1

Ursula K. Le Guin, photo by Marian Wood Kolisch

NAVIGATING THE OCEAN OF STORY SESSION 1. Selected from questions 1-50 (in order as they came in). Laura: …. ‘Genre’ provides useful hand-holds for readers, but I work across academic and fiction genres and one complaint (aside from the ‘you … Continue reading

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Story Excerpt Sunday: From Ink Dance by Deborah J. Ross

Ink Dance

Ink Dance Essays on the Writing Life by Deborah J. Ross Sexuality in Fiction A few years ago, I had the privilege of editing a new fantasy anthology series, Lace and Blade, from Norilana Books. The concept was a certain … Continue reading

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Write Hacks 4

Phyllis Irene Radford I have mastered the fine art of being vague and still getting a point across. But my prose is still vague and not always satisfying. Years ago I attended a writing workshop with Steve Perry, a fine … Continue reading

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