Thursday, April 22, 2010

Readers' Challenge: How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy

How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy by Orson Scott Card is a well-written book that I have been enjoying the last few days. I'm not finished with it yet, and I like it that way.

I'm not sure that I'm ever really finished with a good book on writing, even when I've come to the end of it. I often start over, or store it for a while on a bookshelf, and re-read it, or sections of it, depending on my needs as a writer and reader.

My reasons for reading this slim volume packed full of writing advice by a secular author I admire are: 1) I write. 2) Some of my writing is fantasy and science fiction. 3) I may not like everything that Card has written, but I like a great deal of his work and I think he's a good craftsman. 4) I'm teaching a class on writing next year at a home school co-op my family attends. 5) I teach my kids writing each day.

So as a reader, writer, and teacher, I have found this book to be helpful.

One of my favorite quotes from the first chapter is:

"There is nothing new under the sun - or beyond it, either. The novelty and freshness you'll bring to the field won't come from the new ideas you think up. Truly new ideas are rare, and usually turn out to be variations on old themes anyway. No, your freshness will come from the way you think, from the person you are; it will inevitably show up in your writing; provided you don't maks it with heavy-handed formulas or cliches." Page 16.

I happen to agree with Card in that quote, but what about you?

Do you think that new ideas are rare?

Do you feel that the freshness you bring to your stories comes from who you are?

Do you think that your uniqueness will show up in your writing inevitably?

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