The Roundup

So if there's one thing bloggers love to blog about (for hooooours on end), it's "how to write."  You know, write what you know really applies in that case.  Even CI authors are guilty of it (not that it's a bad thing), even.  Chris has his fantastic "Why We Write" series, mxpw's doing a series of workshops designed to inspire fanfic writers, I'll be periodically popping in with posts on things like "The Vulnerable Badass" and "Stay on Target: Consistency, Consistency, Consistency."*

But anyway, this can backfire.  There's SO much writing advice out there on the internet, how do you know what's good and what's not?  Well, really, that's up to you.  At the end of the day, you have to look at any advice given to you and think, "Oh, that's a good idea" or "that doesn't work for me."  Lots of factors need to go into this decision, like, "Is this person even a good writer or worth listening to?"

Anyway, I filter through blog posts on the writing craft every week and I go through this same process, so this week, I've decided to share a few of the gems.

The first link I'm going to share has everything to do with urban fantasy.  Wait a second, we write Chuck fic.  Urban fantasy with telekinesis and blowing stuff up with the power of your mind?  Oh, and sex?  That's not our...wait a second.  A computer in your brain that tells you how to do everything from Kung Fu to underwater basket-weaving?  Okay, that's pretty fantastical.  A hot CIA agent sent to protect you?  Ditto.  So it kind of applies.

So here's the post: 10 Pet Peeves when Writing Urban Fantasy.

Pay close attention to rules #1, #7, and #8.  Those are very valuable rules to writers, I think.

Next is an enlightening look at World Building from the Inside Out:

When we hear the term “world-building,” we think, grab some blue people, throw them in a forest, create an ecosystem, and then bring in mercenaries to wreck the place (that may or may not be the plot of Avatar), but this interesting article has more to do with perception of the world and environment as seen through a character’s eyes.   It’s important to remember while writing that two characters could walk into the exact same situation and see two very different things. Sarah is not going to react the same way to a threat as Chuck, and Chuck is not going to approach a problem the same way as Casey. This article explores that sort of phenomenon, and it's something to keep in mind.

Read it here: World Building from the Inside Out.

Final blog is kind of a hee-hee moment for me since we're all Chuck fanfic writers here, so I think it goes without saying that we watch a lot of TV.  How can that help us?

This post explains why: Five Things Television Teaches Writers.

Anyway, I hope these have all been helpful!  With any luck, I'll remember to do the same thing next week, but no promises.  I get distracted by shiny things, like the new Chuck preview.

- Frea

*I'm working on Wepdiggy to write about humor and you all should join me on that crusade because I think he's got a lot of great things to say.  We just have to poke at him a bit.


  1. Anonymous10.8.10

    Frea, when I click the World Building link I get a 404 error. Is it just me?

  2. Definitely not just you, Aardie. I copied the link wrong, but it's fixed now!

  3. Anonymous10.8.10

    It was worth the wait. It's one of those things I think I knew somewhere in my mind, but probably couldn't have verbalized before reading this piece. And a wonderful bit of advice to ponder as I go on to the next section of my short.

  4. OldDarth11.8.10

    Thanks Frea - good stuff.

    Do not mean too divert attention away from the resources you have mentioned but I would highly recommend another resource which is this podcast - Writing Excuses.

    Their tagline is 'Fifteen minutes long, because you're in a hurry, and we're not that smart.' One of the participants is Fantasy writer Brandon Sanderson.

    iTunes feed


    Their one episode on writing romances - http://tinyurl.com/26mnjd5 - really aligns beautifully with how Frea has been doing it for What Fates Impose.

  5. Aardie - Really can't wait to read this story of yours. I'm bouncing up and down on my seat from excitement. :)

    Lou - Thanks for the links! I went and checked it out and had a mini-geek moment when I realized it was the artist and writer of Schlock teaming up with the writer of Mistborn. Definitely some great, and knowledgeable, advice in those podcasts!

    I think the link you posted leads to the wrong one, though. Here's the romance episode, for those interested:


    And for those of you like me who can't listen to people talk without daydreaming, here's a transcript:


  6. Ayefah11.8.10

    Heh. The Dresden Files is definitely guilty of 2, but otherwise it escapes the urban fantasy no-nos list intact.

  7. It's better than covers that reveal too much. One of the JD Robb's paperback covers reveals a major plot point in the book and takes alllll of the suspense of out of it. Guh.

    Not that...I read JD Robb books... *shifty eyed*


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