Winner of the February 2021 Romance Short Story Contest: J.M. Stephens

Admin: What can you tell us about the process or inspiration behind The Taxi Driver? What’s the story behind the story? Stephens: To be honest, the story is a very condensed version of a book I wrote called ehookup.org, which follows the story of Ted and Jill, as their marriage deteriorates. As with all myContinue reading “Winner of the February 2021 Romance Short Story Contest: J.M. Stephens”

Science. Fiction.

I have only one piece of advice to offer if you’re thinking about writing a sci-fi story. Write a story that can only be told through the lens of science fiction. I’m afraid sci-fi is too often marginalized as a sub-genre, which boils the term down to an aesthetic rather than its own separate culturalContinue reading “Science. Fiction.”

The Beginner’s Guide to Creating a Universe Part 5: Nature

Taking nature into account during your worldbuilding means thinking about everything that you take for granted. Most stories just take place on Earth. As a resident of Earth (probably) you have at least a cursory understanding of what life on Earth is like. You probably already understand that Earth gets a bit colder near theContinue reading “The Beginner’s Guide to Creating a Universe Part 5: Nature”

What is Love?

It’s time to talk about the romance genre, and I want to start by dropping a bit of a bomb on you (a big bomb if you’re really into romance novels): Romance Novels are just like High Fantasy novels. Seriously. Not only are romance and high fantasy two of the oldest sub-genres known to mankind,Continue reading “What is Love?”

Winner of the January 2021 Fantasy Fiction Contest: J.M. Rivers

Admin: So, first question: Who is J.M. Rivers? Do you write professionally, or only as a hobby? What do you do when you’re not writing? Rivers: J.M. Rivers is a creative who tells stories through words. These words illicit strong emotions and leave lasting impressions. I write mainly as a hobby.  Professionally, I am aContinue reading “Winner of the January 2021 Fantasy Fiction Contest: J.M. Rivers”

Is this just fantasy?

Fantasy, you could argue, is the oldest of the literary genres, starting some four or five-thousand years ago when Gilgamesh and Enkidu formed the first party of adventurers and set out to slay Humbaba the Terrible in the name of glory. Ancient peoples told stories of gods that influenced their lives and monsters that layContinue reading “Is this just fantasy?”

Winner of the December 2020 Young Adult Fiction Contest: J.M. Stephens

Admin: Hey, Mr. Stephens. Thanks for joining me and thank you for submitting a story to the contest. It would have been awfully lonely without you. So, first of all, tell us about J.M. Stephens. Do you write professionally, or only as a hobby? What do you do when you’re not writing? Stephens: J.M. StephensContinue reading “Winner of the December 2020 Young Adult Fiction Contest: J.M. Stephens”

The Beginner’s Guide to Creating a Universe Part 4: Technology

This is a continuation of my multi-part listicle on world building. If you want to read the other parts, click here. Technology is a subject of incredible depth in storytelling and world building. Technology, at any level of sophistication, is likely to play a role in your story, and it must be accounted for whenContinue reading “The Beginner’s Guide to Creating a Universe Part 4: Technology”

Winner of the November 2020 Historical Fiction Contest: J.C. Laird

Admin: What can you tell us about the process behind A Destiny Fulfilled? Did you do much research? Laird: I definitely had to research the story, from food, clothing and weaponry, to geographic locations, lineages, and local customs. That Goliath’s lineage might have traced back to the ancient race of giants, the Anakin, was interesting.Continue reading “Winner of the November 2020 Historical Fiction Contest: J.C. Laird”

The Beginner’s Guide to Creating a Universe Part 3: Titles and Naming Conventions

This is a continuation of my multi-part listicle on world building. If you want to read the other parts, in which I cover my experiences and opinions on language and time as they pertain to world building, click here. Oboro Dono. Herr Schindler. Agent Bond. Princess Cirilla. Warrant Officer Ripley. Moiraine Sedai. Detective Holmes. LordContinue reading “The Beginner’s Guide to Creating a Universe Part 3: Titles and Naming Conventions”