Worldcon notes – Write what you know

Thank the Good Lord above that we could move beyond this annoying “truism”, as the panel pretty much agreed if you followed it to the letter you couldn;t write spec fic.  Anyway, it boiled down to knowing what you write, which is a big difference, if ou ask me…  This was the first time I got to hear Kim Stanley Robinson speak, and I was impressed.  Jack Dann, Kaaron Warren and Chris Lawson also had lots of good stuff to say, although the stuff that sat in my soul already didn’t get jotted down, as I felt I knew it.  Didn’t make it any less good to hear, though.

use your knowledge of human behaviours as opposed to being literal

unknown background is a character

authors should leave 90 percent out

see the things no one writes

note : use the word “suva”

projective imagination

don’t embrace the bias to the real, all is filtered by the time and the narrator

find distinctive details

write everything you know but imply that the narrator knows much more

reader will follow you until you stumble

skate fast over thin ice, don’t point it out to the reader

revision is about making the narrator seem sure of themselves

every word must be absolute, new writes have no idea of the physical space the characters inhabit

read oil rig forums for isolation

give supporting characters a thing for readers to hang their hat on

choose sex over violence

do not romanticise violence

research – go deep

you are a conduit, channelling the world into your story

plots come from research

do not fear asking scientists questions

pick the idea that has an emotional resonance

who hurts in this situation? Go there.


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