Creating Realistic Non-Humans

If I don’t like a piece of science fiction media, I often find myself saying that it was too focused on the humans. I get enough of that in real life. Give me the aliens. Obviously this a little bit of a joke… but not entirely. For whatever reason, throughout a long life of sci-fi and fantasy fandom, I’ve been drawn to the outsiders and the non-humans. I got a degree in anthropology in part Read more…

Writing Around the Edges

(I hope you like marshmallows) “Where do ideas come from?” is one of those nebulous questions that can be impossible to answer. There’s no one simple solution, although I’ve always loved Neil Gaiman’s response that he was signed up for an Idea-of-the-Month club. Some people are constantly coming up with wonderful ideas and lack only the time to see them through. I am not one of these people. Wonderful ideas do sometimes come to me, Read more…

Inside the News

Industry News, March 2019

Video Game News Steam Isn’t Sure Whether It Controls Content or Not As reported by Sprites + Dice, ever since last summer, when a game entitled Active Shooter was put up for sale on Valve’s Steam video game store, some users have been raising concerns about Steam’s (and thereby Valve’s) business practices. After pressure from users, Valve eventually pulled this title, but following that, they posted a new policy on their official blog announcing that Read more…

The Cone of Silence

On breaking into a creative community When I first started writing science fiction and fantasy stories, I was completely unaware of the breadth and scope of the SFF community. I’d just started sending out my work, learning what I wanted to write, and making friends who also liked to write. I started going to conventions because I wanted to meet others like me. It was the year that the “Sad Puppies” swept the Hugo Awards, Read more…

The Gatherer by Rachel Quinlan

Economics of Cons Roundtable

Dream Foundry Board President Jessica Eanes sat down over email with a panel of industry professionals recently to discuss cons and the details of how to make them work for you. You can find out more about each of our panelists in their author box at the bottom. How do you know when you’re far enough along in your career that it’s worth it to go to cons? Rachel Quinlan (artist): I’d say the basic Read more…

Inside the News

Industry News, February 2019

TV and Movies News Abuse Allegations and Separating Artists From Their Art The Atlantic recently featured an article on the number of young men who have accused X-Men director Bryan Singer of sexual assault and examining the history of past allegations that have been swept under the rug in one way or another. On a related note, Constance Grady mused on Vox about whether it’s possible, or even desirable, to separate an artist from their art, Read more…

Writing Characters with a Compelling Romantic Spark

When you’re contemplating writing a romance or including a romantic subplot in one of your novels, how do you bring it to life? The romance writer’s ultimate goal should be to throw two characters on the page together and have a reader crying out in agony, “Now kiss!” So how do you ensure that your characters have a spark? And how can you make sure your audience is rooting for them to fall in love? Read more…

Making Descriptive Passages Work for You

Description can bring readers into your world, but if used incorrectly, it can also slow the pace of your narrative or skew your characterization. We can all think of writers whose descriptive skill we envy, but how do you get there? The first step, I believe, is to understand that everyone’s experience of the world around them is colored by their past experiences, their personal knowledge, their mood in that moment, and a million other Read more…

The Important Bits: Dreams and Writing

I have two burningly vivid memories of my college writing professor. One is his insistence on making his students repeat the same lesson on Hemingway’s “Hills Like White Elephants” every single semester. The other is when he called bullshit on Toni Morrison. Specifically, he was calling into question her assertion that one of her novels (probably Sula, which was the only Toni Morrison novel I ever got to read in school) had “come to her Read more…