Category Archives: Science Fiction Story

OUTLINING WITH NOTE CARDS 4: THE OUTLINE ITSELF

If you haven’t been following along with this exercise in using note cards to plot/outline a novel, go back at least to here and catch up. This next step is what Holly Lisle recommended doing after I’ve got my note … Continue reading

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OUTLINING WITH NOTE CARDS 3: THE “PLOTTING UNDER PRESSURE” METHOD

On August 18th I challenged myself to actually do some of the writing exercises I’ve recommended to others. That led to one success and one failure. The last of them we’ll cover this week, as part of a series of … Continue reading

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EXERCISE ONE COMPLETE

Last week I challenged myself to actually do the writing exercises I’ve recommended for others. The first exercise combines two things: one I’ve already done (writing to an illustration, just not this illustration), and the other I haven’t attempted since … Continue reading

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TIME TO EXERCISE

A couple weeks ago, fed up by how crappy I felt, I started exercising again, and though I’ve ended up taking a few days off already, sidelined with a wicked summer cold, I’m committed to getting back to daily moderate … Continue reading

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PULP FICTION WORKSHOP

I’ve written more than once here at Fantasy Author’s Handbook of my love for the pulp fiction tradition, especially in the science fiction and fantasy genres. Though there have been some recent events in SF/fantasy fandom that may have temporarily … Continue reading

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WRITING WITHOUT TYPING

From the title you might be thinking, Oh, here’s the post where Phil tells us to write longhand. But no, this is not that post. I don’t write longhand and I don’t think you should write longhand either, unless you … Continue reading

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IMMEDIATELY, SUDDENLY, AND ABRUPTLY STOP USING THE WORDS IMMEDIATELY, SUDDENLY, AND ABRUPTLY

In the never-ending battle between showing and telling, here are three steadfast foot soldiers for the latter cause. These pesky words plague some of the best writers and all of the worst ones. Of course these are perfectly legitimate words, … Continue reading

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PHIL VS. CTHULHU’S LAWYER

First, read last week’s post. You can’t critique yourself any more than you can edit yourself, so what the hell am I even doing here? I first mentioned this short story in a post about why starting with just a … Continue reading

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THE STRANGE GEOMETRY OF A WELL-PLACED ATTORNEY

A Short Story by Philip Athans He’d been awake for at least an hour before the alarm clock started beeping. Still, he paused before reaching over to turn it off. With a sigh he rolled onto his back and glanced … Continue reading

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THOUGHTS ON THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY

In the introduction to an episode of The Twilight Zone, Rod Serling said: “It’s been said that science fiction and fantasy are two different things. Science fiction—the improbable made possible. Fantasy—the impossible made probable.” I wrote that down a couple … Continue reading

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