Archives: observations

Fiction From Nonhuman Viewpoints

At one point in time, we thought the universe revolved around us and our abode, Earth. Eventually, we discovered otherwise, and subsequently assumed the universe must then revolve around our heavenly benefactor, the sun.Sensing a pattern, here. We humans tend to be consumed by our own self-importance. Or, to put it another way, we have a very anthropocentric view of the universe.

Human being asking Universe...

Human being asking Universe… by CLUC | Flickr

According to Orson Scott Card, stories follow one of four structures: Milieu, Idea, Character, Event. He argues that most science fiction and fantasy stories follow the Event structure. Something has gone wrong with the world in some way, and the tale doesn’t end until order is restored.
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In the Company of Writers

Dreamers Island by Gretchen HummelIt’s inspiring being around other writers, even if they don’t write science fiction and fantasy books. I recently attended the 90th anniversary party for the Charlotte Writers’ Club and listened to fellow science-fiction writer Gretchen Hummel read the intriguing beginning of her post-apocalyptic novel, Dreamer’s Island. While listening, I reflected on how challenging it is to read an excerpt of a science fiction novel aloud to a mostly non-SFF audience.
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Wordle: Word Density

Wordle: Word Density

Wordle is so cool! As Patrick Rothfuss would say, click to embiggen the image.

Wordle is like the tag or label clouds you see on a lot of blogs, but it takes all the words on your page and puts them in a cloud. Then you can remove words (I took out the boring ones, like “would’ve” and “got”), save it, and share it!

From looking at the Wordle cloud, I see I need to work on killing some adverbs, even in my blog writing. Looks like “still,” “really,” and “just” are the biggest culprits.

I learned about Wordle from Writing Excuses. They recommend using it to analyze which words you’re repeating too frequently within your stories, especially adverbs and adjectives. Then you can find and pare them down. Seek and destroy! 

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