A friend recently asked me about ways to improve your chances in the Writers of the Future contest. I thought it was a good question, and I thought my answers were a nice summary of lessons learned. So I decided to share them here as a simple set of “rules”
This article by Dr. Jerry Pournelle was originally published in Writers of the Future Volume III. Timeless advice then and now.
A writer pointed out today that when you send a novel to an agent or publisher, they normally ask for the first five or ten pages, just so that they can gauge your writing skill. If those pages don’t grab the reader, it won’t sell. So, he wondered, what do I look for in those first five pages?
A couple of years ago I decided to stop blogging in order to focus on improving my fiction, and, well, I just won Writers of the Future, so that seems to have worked.
I earlier talked about the first four parts of a story—setting, character, conflict, and theme. These are all parts that you often think about in brainstorming. Often, before starting a short story, I don’t even sketch out my characters, for example. So you might only give them minimal attention. But once you begin putting words […]
To meet Jake Marley is to encounter joy in its purest form. First there is the smile that comes to his face, and then the fact that the first thing you’re likely to hear from him is something like “I’m so happy!” So, yeah, Jake fills a room. After a while, you discover that within […]
Why is it not an adventure worth telling if there are no dragons? This is, of course, referring to the famous J.R.R. Tolkien quote: “It simply isn’t an adventure worth telling if there aren’t any dragons.”
The cover for the latest volume in the L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future anthology, which features the best new SF & Fantasy short stories of the year, has just been released and it features a stunning dragon by artist and illustrator Larry Elmore. Larry’s list of work includes illustrations for Dungeons & […]
Writers of the Future 3rd Quarter Winners, Finalists, Semi-Finalists and Honorable Mentions Congratulations to you all! Winners: First Place – Jake Marley from California Second Place – Ville Merilainen from Finland Third Place – C.L. Kagmi from Michigan Finalists: Scott Coon from California David Kavanaugh from New Mexico Deborah MacArthur from Florida […]
Day six began bright and early with an excellent talk by Dr. Doug Beason about handling science in fiction. He provided extensive resources for…