It was Ben Franklin who said, "Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing."
Sometimes it's a little hard to do both at once.
That's why I'm taking a break from HIDDEN FACE through May to blog about story, life, and all the behind-the-scenes things that create a story worth writing about.
And to ask you a really serious question.
Lie: Someone else has done it before.
Recently, an author in a writers' group I am part of asked (in so many words), "What authors makes you feel like you have nothing left to offer? For me, it's Tolkien. I feel like there's no way I can possibly measure up to him, and that he's already written what I am trying to write and written it better."
Others chimed in. For some, it was a specific author. For others (me), it was any author who wasn't themselves.
My blood runs with the DNA of nine ancestors from the Mayflower, several more who fired their rifles during the Revolutionary War, and many others who engaged in the defense of their freedom in various ways. Even centuries later, I am still enjoying the fruits of their many sacrifices. The story that they began I now have a responsibility to continue.
Even in fiction, that battle cry for freedom still emerges. That desire of the soul to follow truth without infringement by another echoes through our stories. Today, I'm going to share ten quotes about freedom from science fiction and fantasy.
My favorite part of the testing scene in Men in Black (1997) is the moment when 2nd Lt. Jake Jenson looks at Jay like, "Take that, you moron." But you know that Jenson is the moron.
One memorable scene can make an entire story unforgettable. As a reader, you likely have a "memory bank" of such scenes, that moment when you realized that, just for that one scene and the emotional response it evoked, you will forever be a fan of the story.
So let's take a look at the test scene (the scene I call "the best of the best" for multiple reasons) and see what it does for the story.
This week in The Dying Prince, I wrote an important scene in which one of the characters is able to get closer to their mysterious enemy--the Forbidden--than any one else has gotten so far. I needed to reveal enough to give the story a little more momentum--more questions, more chills--but not enough to blow all the secrets in Book Two that should be discovered throughout Books Three, Four, and Five.
I began to write the scene with the appearance of a nebulous figure:
I've just finished Ender's Game (review to be posted soon!), but, before I even got into the story, I encountered a fascinating discussion in the introduction by the author. I think Orson Scott Card brings up some great points. What do you think?
One of fiction's greatest strengths is its ability to comment on life in the form of story. This is what my Truth in Fiction blog post series is all about.
Today's #TruthInFiction is an observation about weather, made in the book That Hideous Strength by C. S. Lewis.
I’m generally cautious when it comes to sex in fiction. Now, Christians are probably waiting for me to give an answer like, “Never mention sex in fiction.” Liberals are probably waiting to dismiss everything I say because I’ll be too restrictive for them. I’m probably not going to satisfy either party. Why? Because I think the answer is more complicated than “Never include sex in fiction” or “Include sex just as openly as you would any other part of life.”
Christians, the Bible has tons of sex in it. You can hardly go a chapter in the Old Testament without someone sleeping with someone else, and some of those stories aren’t exactly family friendly. Non-Christians, I’m about to make it pretty plain that sexual openness doesn’t always lead to satisfying sex—or a satisfying story.
I’ll tell you right up-front: I’m not going to tell you what the line is. But I’ll give you enough information so you can consider what is a good, realistic, artistic portrayal of sex in fiction.
Welcome to 2016! I was going to write something meaningful for this occasion, but frankly, I've got too much family holiday insanity going on to take the time to be properly sentimental and philosophical, so I won't re-say what everyone else is probably already saying. (Let go of the old, embrace the new, etc.)
I'm taking a break from my Moonstone updates this week to bring you something that has been germinating for a while: my top 5 pet peeves about fantasy. Enjoy!