Sci-fi writing tricks: balancing drama with plausibility

I am a great fan of science fiction that’s plausible enough to be ‘scientific’, but which doesn’t take the ‘science’ so far as to be boring. In the miniseries that launched the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica a decade or so ago, Galactica took a direct hit from a nuke and survived with near-undiminished fighting capacity. Is … More Sci-fi writing tricks: balancing drama with plausibility

Why even non-fiction has to tell a story

It always intrigues me that ‘writing’, to most people, appears to be ‘writing fiction’. Time and again I’ll see stuff on social media pivoting on that idea – ‘writers – what’s your character arc?’, or ‘what’s your latest plot twist’ or whatever. Whereas non-fiction writing is always seen as a secondary product of expertise in … More Why even non-fiction has to tell a story

Ten steps in book writing after the first draft’s done

November is just about over, and all things being equal, NaNoWriMo participants should end up with something like a ‘bad first draft’ at the end of that writing month. Which is very cool, because a bad first draft is better than no first draft. That sounds like an old aphorism, but it’s absolutely true, because … More Ten steps in book writing after the first draft’s done

How to juxtapose writing style across content…and laugh…

One of the best writing exercises I know is to emulate a specific author – ‘writing in the style of…’ – because it forces the writer to analyse exactly how the writing they’re emulating was put together. That’s how you learn things. But let’s take that further. The idea of writers figuring out another’s writing … More How to juxtapose writing style across content…and laugh…