Posts

Avoiding Cliché Openings

Many years ago, Damon Knight, a fine writer and editor, wrote a book on how to write short fiction. Damon talked a bit about avoiding clichés.

Persevere

It’s been nearly a year since I found out I was a finalist for L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future contest, and very nearly five months since I was announced as the 2017 Golden Pen Award winner. To say my life has changed feels like an understatement.

The Problem of the “Told” Story

I have talked about some of the most frequent problems that I see when judging for the Writers of the Future Contest, and today I’m going to tackle one of the biggest: the problem with “told” stories.

Persistence

There is a myth among the general public that the greatest writers are born with uncanny innate talents that average folks dare not aspire to.
Yet there is only a sliver of truth to that argument. Talent is helpful, especially for new authors who are just trying to break in, but you can’t make a career out of it.

Focus on Tobias Buckell, Writers of the Future Volume 16 Winner

Tobias Buckell was born in Grenada and lived in the British Virgin Isles, spending his first nine years living on a boat and playing cricket on sandy beaches. Today he’s in Ohio with his wife, twin daughters, and a couple dogs. He’s a New York Times bestselling writer …

Focus on Jim C. Hines, Writers of the Future Volume 15 Winner

“Looking back,” Jim C. Hines said, “my Writers of the Future story was the first one I’d written where I felt like I’d found my own voice.” He’s referring to “Blade of the Bunny,” his prizewinning story from volume XV of the annual anthology …

Anton Rose, author of “A Glowing Heart”

“I am British, you know?” Anton Rose quips at one point of the week long workshop. He’s explaining a penchant he has for a particular personality trait, and the line is given …

Andrew Peery, author of “Useless Magic”

Andrew Peery is one of the more impressive people you could meet. He lives in Durham, North Carolina where he works as a physician. He has a family—wife and two younger children who he clearly adores. As a doctor, he’s a person who …

David VonAllmen, author of “The Magnificent Bhajan”

David VonAllmen is someone who seems to always be on an even keel. There’s this sense of stability riding under his veneer that comes out even stronger when he speaks. He looks at things with a sense of calm that suggests that, oh sure, maybe the tornado is coming through town and the banks are […]

Molly Elizabeth Atkins, author of “Obsidian Spire”

It seems to me that Molly Elizabeth Atkins is in the middle of a transition. She’s a published finalist in the 33rd Annual Writers of the Future anthology, of course. It’s her first time in print. Her story is titled “Obsidian Spire” and tells the tale of a young swordfighter dealing with fables and trying […]