Category Archives: Writing

Musings on the craft of writing.

Worldbuilding, Part 3: Religion and Mythology

I’ve always loved reading about ancient mythologies, and creating religions and mythologies of my own is probably my favorite part of worldbuilding.  However, like government and social structure, mythology and religion are very complicated, and very easy to do wrong.  I still remember the time several years ago, when I was first starting to write… Read More »

Worldbuilding, Part 2: Government and Society

In my last post on worldbuilding, I only talked about the basics.  In this post, I’ll go into more detail on a few aspects of worldbuilding, mainly government and social structure. The most important part of creating realistic societies in a fantasy world is, in my opinion, research.  You can either directly base your societies… Read More »

Basics of Worldbuilding

All stories happen somewhere.  Whether your story is highly advanced sci-fi, sword and sorcery fantasy, urban fantasy, or any of the other many subgenres of speculative fiction, chances are you’ll have to do at least a bit of worldbuilding.  How much worldbuilding you do depends on the story, how long it is, and where the… Read More »

Then stop.

One of the tough parts about writing short stories, especially if you’re used to reading novels or series instead, is that short stories stop. How does one accomplish this feat? You need an ending. More than that, you need a good ending. The ending, like every other part of a story, does several things. One,… Read More »

NaNoWriMo Isn’t For Everyone

Last week, we posted about strategies for making it through National Novel Writing Month. This week, a couple of us are going to talk about why we aren’t doing NaNo this year, and why that’s totally fine. Rachel Halpern (Alpha 2007 & 2008): I learned a lot from NaNo – I learned how much plot… Read More »

Making It to 50,000 Words: Strategies for NaNoWriMo

Last week, Alpha graduate Jameyanne Fuller talked about “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly About National Novel Writing Month.” This week, Alphans discuss how they do the impossible (or at least highly improbable), win NaNoWriMo, and finish their 50,000 words. Lara Donnelly (Alpha 2007 & 2008): This may be viewed by some as semi-cheating,… Read More »