Category: Writing Technique

The Fourth Draft: Editing a Short Story with a Friend

The Fourth Draft: Editing a Short Story with a Friend

I’m finished with the foundations, frame, and other major changes to the story, and need to take the next, worst step: being picky about the details. I’m not a naturally persnickety person. Editing at the sentence level is usually as far as I go. Words and turns of phrases feel better when I don’t think …

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Information and Annihilation

Information and Annihilation

If the hunt for knowledge courts destruction, the attainment of knowledge damns the seekers. Annihilation’s unreal geography and story is shaped by information. The search for it, the lack of it, and the fraught circumstances by which it is attained catalyzes revelations of self and humanity which gives the book mortal urgency. Annihilation was written …

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Story Cycling in The House of the Scorpion

Story Cycling in The House of the Scorpion

I reread The House of the Scorpion, by Nancy Farmer, in my spare time during the art camp and remembered why I loved the book. I’m going to analyze it in place of the other short stories I had scheduled. As always, this is not a review. There may be spoilers for those who haven’t …

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The Third Draft: My Writing Sucks For Sure

The Third Draft: My Writing Sucks For Sure

What better way to start the third draft than by banging my head against the wall? I’m at the point where I know for certain that my writing sucks. I am currently in the nadir of this timeline. The stakes aren’t high enough. The characters aren’t interesting. The premise isn’t interesting. What is the premise …

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The Second Draft

The Second Draft

I am on the third draft of the short story, looking back on what I’ve done with the second. Mostly, revising the second draft means ossifying plot and rewriting major sections. I have the ending figured out, I know my major changes, and I’ve cut out the elements which don’t make sense and added structure. …

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From Cover to Cover, Quickly: Writing a Short Story

From Cover to Cover, Quickly: Writing a Short Story

I’m documenting my writing process for short stories here on the blog. This isn’t an original idea. Many blogs document the writing process through word count, snowflake methods, rote editing tips, etc, and their authors know that few works spring fully-formed from the heads of creators. The well-edited conclusion can look so natural that the end …

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Atmosphere in The Hands

Atmosphere in The Hands

My second analysis from The Big Book of Science Fiction will be The Hands by John Baxter. The short story doesn’t have a free online version. If you’d like to read it, you’ll have to buy the anthology (which you should do anyway because it is excellent). As always, this is not a review. There …

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Metaphor and Message in Standing Woman

Metaphor and Message in Standing Woman

Standing Woman by Yasutaka Tsutsui is one of the many short stories anthologized in The Big Book of Science Fiction.It’s a short read, not more than five pages, and I think being able to read the story yourself would help you follow along. The version in The Big Book of Science Fiction is translated by …

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