Writing World Newsletter Archive
Return to Newsletter Index · Home


*****************************************************************

                    W R I T I N G   W O R L D

A World of Writing Information - For Writers Around the World

                  http://www.writing-world.com

Issue 12:17        13,388 subscribers           September 6, 2012
*****************************************************************
MANAGE YOUR SUBSCRIPTION: See the bottom of this newsletter for
details on how to subscribe, unsubscribe, or contact the editors.
*****************************************************************

IN THIS ISSUE:
=================================================================
THE EDITOR'S DESK: by Moira Allen 
CRAFTING FABULOUS FICTION: Stories within Stories, 
by Victoria Grossack 
NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF WRITING 
WRITING JOBS AND OPPORTUNITIES
FEATURE: The Future of Science Fiction and Fantasy, by Michele Acker
FREE STUFF FOR WRITERS: Web-Based Tools That Require No
Downloading, by Aline Lechaye                                      
THE WRITE SITES -- Online Resources for Writers
The Author's Bookshelf 
****************************************************************
WANT TO AVOID THE TOP 5 DEATHBED REGRETS OF WRITERS? You can, when
you ask yourself five important questions. Stephen King and J.K.
Rowling did this, and look where they are now. Find out how to get
the writer's life you've only imagined and avoid regret. 
http://www.awaionline.com/go/index.php?ad=605048
*****************************************************************
WRITE FOR CHILDREN. Achieve your dream of becoming a published
author. Writing books and stories for children is a great place to
start.  Learn the secrets 1-on-1 from a pro writer.  Train online
or by mail.  Free Test offered. 
http://www.writingforchildren.com/H3146
*****************************************************************
THOUSANDS OF WRITERS USE FANSTORY.COM FOR:
* Feedback. Get feedback for every poem and story that you write.
* Contests. Over 40 contests are always open and free to enter.
* Rankings. Statistics will show you how your writing is doing.
http://www.fanstory.com/index1.jsp?at=38
*****************************************************************
DON'T GET SCAMMED!  Choose the right Self Publishing Company for
your book. What you need to know before choosing a self publishing
company and the questions you should ask.
http://dogearpublishing.net/self-publishing-companies.aspx
*****************************************************************

FROM THE EDITOR'S DESK
=================================================================

A Pair of Handy Freebies
------------------------

Usually I leave announcements of "free stuff for writers" to our
fine columnist, Aline Lechaye.  However, this past month I've come
across two programs that have made such a huge difference in my
productivity that I just had to pass them along.

The first is a program that enables one to quickly and easily
rename large numbers of files at once.  If you're like me, you may
have directories full of notes, information, photos, etc., that
have been added haphazardly and are now in no particular order. 
You might like to whip them into some sort of shape, but the idea
of renaming each file individually, one after another, is just too
much to bear.

For me, the problem is exacerbated by huge numbers of photos.  I'm
a shutterbug, and I have thousands of photos on my computer.  When
I'm traveling, it's not unusual for me to shoot several hundred
digital photos in one day.  I also have loads of scanned documents,
and... well, just a whole lot of STUFF.

I began to hunt around for a free renaming program, tried one or
two, and finally settled on "Bulk Rename Utility."  With this
program, you can select all the files in a folder (or just some of
them), and rename them in a variety of ways.  You can insert
characters before or after the existing file name, add a numbering
scheme, or rename the file entirely.  The program has its flaws
(poor instructions being one of them), and I definitely recommend
making a duplicate copy of a folder before running the program,
until you've mastered its intricacies.  In one case I managed to
completely wipe out the contents of a folder by setting up my
options incorrectly.

The second program enables one to actually copy an entire folder of
file names into a document.  One downside I've noticed to the
"paperless office" is finding a way to keep track of where all your
"papers" are, since they are no longer physically in a folder in a
file cabinet.  The problem is, typically the only way to know where
your documents are is to actually look at the folder on the screen
where they are stored.  If you wanted to make an off-line list of,
say, all your clips, or all your research articles on a particular
subject, etc., you'd have to do this manually, either retyping the
list or copying one file name at a time.  For some reason, Windows
has never grasped the concept that there are times when we would
like to copy and paste a list of files into a document.

This came to a head for me this past month as I became increasingly
involved in an art project.  I have a large number of files that
I've given names based on one "naming scheme" -- but I knew that
over time, I'd be dividing these into many other categories.  I
wanted to have a way to trace later editions of a file back to its
origins -- but short of creating filenames that contained an entire
paragraph of "backstory," I couldn't figure out how.  Ideally, I
thought, if I could just create a database in Excel of all the
files, I could then insert new file names as they were changed, and
keep track of where every file was and its evolution.

Enter Copyfilenames from ExtraBit software.  This puts a command in
the "File" menu tab in Windows, so that when you open a
directory/folder, you have the option of copying any or all of the
file names within that folder and pasting them into another
application.  You can also copy and record the full PATH of the
file, if needed.  I downloaded this program, and within minutes had
created an Excel database of over 2,000 image files.  (Yeah, it's a
big project.)  

This company also has its own renaming program, but it's not free. 
I tried the 30-day trial version, and found that Bulk Rename
Utility worked better for my needs.  They have several other free
or very inexpensive programs that are worth looking into.

Both of these programs are proving to be huge timesavers, so if
you're looking for better ways to manage filenames, give them a
try!  Frankly, having tried them, I'd be happy to pay money for
them -- but I'm even happier that I don't have to!

Bulk Rename Utility - 
   http://www.bulkrenameutility.co.uk/Main_Intro.php

Copy Filenames - 
   http://www.extrabit.com/copyfilenames/ 

-- Moira Allen, Editor

Copyright 2012 Moira Allen 

*****************************************************************

YOU WILL NETWORK WITH 30+ EDITORS Over 400 editors contribute their
unique news and views each year. That's news and views to improve
your chances to get published. Monthly newsletter. Get 2 issues
FREE.  
http://www.thechildrenswriter.com/AY461

*****************************************************************

BOOK TEMPLATES REDUCE YOUR WORK AND WRITING MISTAKES. Formatted
Word book templates are a godsend for writers. Templates for
eBooks, Kindle, PDF, MOBI, printed books, and more. Available in
all popular sizes. See them now at: http://www.booktemplate.org/

*****************************************************************
COLUMN: CRAFTING FABULOUS FICTION, by Victoria Grossack
Stories within Stories
=================================================================
A great novel is often not a single story, but rather a complex and
artistically arranged compilation of one, two, or many stories.
This column takes a look at some of the ways you can weave stories
together, and some of the advantages and disadvantages associated
with the different methods.

Frame Stories
-------------
Usually set apart from the rest of the novel, a frame story often
sets up how and why the story is told.  The events of the frame
story often occur in a different time than the rest of the novel.
Often there is a prologue at the beginning, and an epilogue at the
end.  In some books, the frame story is revisited periodically
throughout the novel.  

Frame stories have been around for centuries, probably millennia. A
famous example is "One Thousand and One Nights," in which the
Persian king was so angry with women that he married a new virgin
every day and killed her the next morning.  Only the vizier's
daughter, Scheherazade, kept her head by telling her murderous
husband part of a thrilling new story every night --and not telling
him the end until the next night. (How many of us would want to
rely on our storytelling abilities to save our lives?)  Another
celebrated example is Geoffrey Chaucer's "The Canterbury Tales," in
which a diverse group of pilgrims en route to Canterbury hold a
storytelling contest.  

Prologues and epilogues allow you to give additional information,
or extra perspectives on your story. You can use the prologue to
create a level playing field. For example, in our novel, "Jocasta:
The Mother-Wife of Oedipus," we mention in the prologue that
Jocasta inadvertently married her son, Oedipus. In a way we did not
like to write this because it's the "big surprise" of the novel
--but plenty of people are familiar with the Oedipus myth anyway,
and besides, we were explicit about the incestuous relationship in
the title of the book. So, by telling people this in the prologue,
we were able to set up why Jocasta finally spills the secrets of
her life.

However, you should be warned that some readers don't bother to
read the prologue or the epilogue -- especially not the prologue!
They seem to feel that it is not part of the story; perhaps they
confuse it with dedications, acknowledgements and prefaces. One way
to avoid any misunderstandings is to rename your prologue "Chapter
One." In a way this is cheating, but heck, who cares? 

Nests
-----
Frequently stories are nested within other stories. The frame story
is generally the outermost story, in which the rest of your novel
--either one long main story or a series of other stories --is
nested.  However, some authors have more than one layer of nesting.
 They begin the first story, which we'll call *A.*  Before *A* is
finished, they break off to start story *B.*  And before *B* is
finished, they break off to start story *C.*  The author can
continue with this approach, adding more layers. Eventually, one
hopes, the story will return to the original threads, and resolve,
generally in reverse sequence, the issues raised in *C,* *B,* and
*A.*

This approach can add depth and perspective. However, it can also
be a strain on your readers, as they try to keep the different
stories straight. Even when *A,* *B* and *C* contain the same
characters, they may be taking place at different times, or from
different points of view. This kind of book can be challenging to
read, and you should ask yourself: is it TOO challenging for my
readers?

You should also ask yourself what each level of nest adds to your
entire book. Sometimes each level is crucial to what you are trying
to achieve. Other times, however, it seems to indicate that the
author could not make up his or her mind on which story to tell.
Other times the author seems to be procrastinating telling the real
story. 

Serial Stories in a Single Place
--------------------------------
Another approach is to tell a series of stories, often about a
place. This technique was perfected by James Michener, who often
chose a particular spot on the planet, began with the geological
processes that formed it, and then continue with various animals
and people until reaching the present day. The same structure has
been used by others, as in Steven Saylor's "Roma," and Edward
Ruthersford's "London: The Novel."  

This technique is hard to do well, because unless you make the book
really long -- and many Michener tomes run past 1000 pages -- not
all the stories may have enough space to develop thoroughly. Often
some of the episodes are good, while others feel forced. And even
when everything is done well, the reader will form emotional
attachments to characters, only to have them destroyed and replaced
when starting the next story.

Still, if done well, the result may be masterly, as in Michener's
"The Source," a look at a tell near Jerusalem and the different
religions that developed or visited there over the millennia.

A-story vs. B-story (Subplots) 
------------------------------
Many works of fiction have stories that are intertwined. In other
words, you can't neatly pigeonhole them as frame story or as a
series of stories, because they appear at different parts of the
book.

Nevertheless, in most works you can tell which plot is the main
plot (also known as the *A story*). By definition, the other plots
are subplots. Usually they have less action; less development; less
time on stage.

We see this often in TV series, especially those with large casts.
Often it is difficult to give all the recurring characters a
pertinent role in the A story --so they participate mostly in the
*B story* (or even a *C story*).

Many authors merge their A and B stories. Occasionally, this
merging feels contrived, as was often the case in Nancy Drew books.
Generally the stories should be related in some way, even if it is
simply the development of a theme.

Character Arcs
--------------
Character arcs refer to the development of your characters
throughout the storyline. Throughout your novel -- or series of
novels -- your characters should learn and grow. Each character
should have a starting point in your book, including a certain
viewpoint, wants and desires. By the end of the story, most of your
characters should be in a different place, with their desires
either thwarted or fulfilled, and their outlook on life changed or
deepened.

The subject of character arcs is so important that it is worthy of
several additional columns. Here we will just mention that it is
important to tell the story of each of your characters, too --
another type of story for our collection.

Anecdotes and Other Tiny Tales
------------------------------
The word anecdote come from the Greek, meaning unpublished or not
given out, and comes from a book published in the 500s called
Anekdota and which contained plenty of stories about the Byzantine
court. Gradually, the term ANECDOTE was applied to any short tale
utilized to emphasize or illustrate whatever point the author
wished to make.

A short tale can enter your novel in many ways.  Perhaps a traveler
is recounting where he came from (in which case it is also back
story).  Perhaps a witness, during a trial, explains what happened.
Or perhaps a preacher tells a parable, or a bard sings a song. 

Some anecdotes may already be familiar to your stories.  In our
series set in ancient Greece, although we focus on the experiences
of mortals, we frequently include myths about the gods. We try to
add depth to these myths, often already well known to the readers,
by showing how the characters react to them.  For example, the hero
Pelops in "Children of Tantalus" is inspired by a bard singing
about how Icarus made wings of wax and feathers.  If you include
familiar anecdotes or fables in your story, enrich your readers'
experience with a new interpretation.

Conclusion
----------
This article has gone through many of the different types of
stories found in novels. In a sense, classifying the stories within
stories is like trying to pigeonhole a platypus -- what purpose
does it serve, when the boundaries are so fluid? And yet
considering the different forms may help you control and improve
the different stories in your own work.

>>--------------------------------------------------<<

A version of this article appeared at the Coffeehouse for Writer's
Fiction Fix. Victoria Grossack studied Creative Writing and English
Literature at Dartmouth College, and has published stories and
articles in publications such as Contingencies, Women's World and I
Love Cats. She teaches a variety of writing classes at 
http://www.coffeehouseforwriters.com/courses.html.  Victoria
Grossack is the co-author of the Tapestry of Bronze series
(Jocasta; Children of Tantalus; The Road to Thebes; Arrow of
Artemis) based on Greek myths and set in the late Bronze Age. 
Besides all this, Victoria is married with kids, and (though
American) spends most of her time in Europe.  Her hobbies include
gardening, hiking and bird-watching.  Visit her website at 
http://www.tapestryofbronze.com, or contact her at tapestry (at)
tapestryofbronze (dot) com.   

Copyright 2012 Victoria Grossack

*****************************************************************

A FREE MASTER CLASS IN CREATIVE WRITING SUCCESS.
Enrol FREE in a 14-part 'mini course' in short-story writing
success. This highly acclaimed Writers' Village 'Master Class'
shows you how to get published - profitably - and win cash prizes
in fiction contests. Discover how to open a chapter with 'wow'
impact, add new energy to a scene, build a character in moments,
sustain page-turning suspense even through long passages of
exposition... plus 97 additional powerful ideas you can use at
once. Enjoy the course without charge now at:
http://www.writers-village.org/master-classes

*****************************************************************
WRITING A MYSTERY OR CRIME STORY? Forensic Science for Writers: A
Reference Guide can help. Based on a long-running course offered
in colleges and universities, this survey shows you how to create
believable plot twists and enhance your stories with realistic
forensic details.  Available from Amazon and other bookstores.
For details visit http://forensics4writers.com/the-book

*****************************************************************

NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF WRITING
=================================================================
The Writer is saved
-------------------
Good news! On August 22, 2012, Boston-based Madavor Media, a
privately held niche and enthusiast media company, acquired The
Writer, one of the oldest continuously published magazines in the
U.S.  This is a homecoming for the magazine, which was first
published in Boston in 1887.  For more on this story visit:
http://tinyurl.com/9cbdnba

Erotic Trilogy Heats up summer for Bookstores Across the World
--------------------------------------------------------------
According to figures released by Random House this morning, sales
of the trilogy Fifty Shades of Grey have lead to a bumper sales
year for bookstores across the world.  Random House has seen a 20%
increase in book sales in the first half of 2012 alone.  For more
on this story visit:  http://tinyurl.com/8dexpfe

$69m Payout by US Publishers for Price Fixing
----------------------------------------------
Hachette, Harper Collins and Simon & Schuster have been made to
settle an anti-trust lawsuit worth $69m after being found guilty of
price fixing with regards to e-books. The money must be paid to
consumers who suffered as a result of the price fixing. For more on
this story visit: http://tinyurl.com/8ftbnbo

*****************************************************************

FEELING PRESSURED TO PRICE A JOB? Follow the 3-step process in
Freelance Fee Setting: Quick Guide for When a Client Demands a Price
NOW. This brief e-book is by the author of the award-winning What
to Charge: Pricing Strategies for Freelancers and Consultants.
Get it now at http://tinyurl.com/86qfupw

*****************************************************************

BURRST.COM - A NEW FREE WRITING SITE FOR FEARLESS SHORT FICTION
Unlike other websites for writers, Burrst focuses on sharing
short pieces of fearlessly written fiction. Each day members can
post one 'burst' of 1,250 words or less to be read, listened to,
liked and commented on. Find out more at http://burrst.com/about/

*****************************************************************

Writing Jobs and Opportunities
=================================================================
Steam eReads Open to Submissions
--------------------------------
Call for Submissions: Steam eReads is Australia's premier
epublisher of hot romantic fiction. We are currently accepting
submissions of 55,000 - 90,000 words for full length fiction, and
15,000 - 30,000 words for our 'Short n Spicy' series.

For submission guidelines please visit:  
http://www.steamereads.com.au

Writers' Haven Open to Submissions
----------------------------------
Writers Haven is an idyllic way a writer and a poet can express
their 
creativity. It has been running successfully and has completed
six refreshing issues. Every style of writing is appreciated and
encouraged. 

Nayanna Chakrbarty, the editor, provides 3 themes in advance
to help plan the writing experience.  Multiple submissions accepted.

Submission Guidelines: 
http://www.original-writer.com/submissionwritershaven.html

Verse Land Poetry Magazine:  
http://www.original-writer.com/verse.html
 

Kentucky Flash Story
--------------------
We are now accepting submissions for a collection of sudden fiction
about/from Kentuckians, or with the theme of Kentucky or the south.
Your work can be anything from hint fiction (25 words), to a 2,000
word short story. Please edit and fine tune your text before
sending it in a .doc, .docx, or rtf file. Inside your file, provide
a bio, and one sentence describing each of your submissions. You
can submit up to five works at a time.

Bios should be in third person, and begin with your name. For
instance, "firstname lastname is blah, blah, blah." You only need
one bio per submission package.

The one sentence describing your submission should include your
title. If you have five submissions, provide five of these
sentences, one for each submission.

No fees ever, but also no payments.

You will be provided with a free ebook to share with your family and
friends. You can also use it for publicity. A printed book will be
available for sale on Amazon at a reasonable price. (less than $15
in most cases.

Send all submissions to parker.owens"at"gmail.com. More information at
http://kystory.wordpress.com

*****************************************************************
 
FEATURE:  The Future of Science Fiction and Fantasy
=================================================================
By Michele Acker

What is the future of Science Fiction and Fantasy?  Are the genres
fading?  Are writers running out of ideas?  Have audiences grown
tired of the same old thing?  Not at all.  In fact, according to
several prominent agents, whether written for middle grade, young
adult or adult audiences, the genres of Science Fiction and Fantasy
are going strong and will be for a long time to come.  There's more
crossover now too.  While teenagers have always read adult fiction,
with the popularity of books like Harry Potter, The Hunger Games
and Percy Jackson, adults are reading more middle grade and young
adult fiction now than ever before.

Although some agents may disagree on which of the two genres is
strongest, Science Fiction or Fantasy, they all agree that we'll be
seeing much more of both in the future.

I interviewed seven agents -- Eddie Schneider with JABberwocky,
Sandy Lu with the L. Perkins Agency, Lucienne Diver with the Knight
Agency, Miriam Kriss with the Irene Goodman Literary Agency, Jean
Naggar with the Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency, Nancy Gallt with
the Nancy Gallt Literary Agency (she is also the agent for Rick
Riordan, author of the Percy Jackson series), and Jessica Faust
with Bookends -- and asked each of them four questions regarding
Science Fiction and Fantasy.  

This is what they had to say.

1. What do you see as the future of Science Fiction& Fantasy?
-------------------------------------------------------------
Eddie Schneider: I think that SF/F is one of the healthiest genres
in literature right now, so I'd say more growth and
diversification. With the latter, I think we're going to see
greater diversity both in the variety of subgenres (helped along by
the e-book industry, which is able to prove to publishers that
things they think won't work, do), and in terms of subject matter
and authorial background. I think we're finally going to start to
see good SF/F novels that should've been translated into English
years ago get their due, and the chorus of voices will be more
nuanced than it's historically been.

Sandy Lu: Science fiction, which has been overshadowed by fantasy
in recent years, will be in demand again. Urban fantasy, one of the
fastest growing genres in the past few years, is on the decline.
The market is saturated with vampires, werewolves, zombies, and
psychics, the readers are quickly growing tired of them. They will
want something with a basis in scientific theories, such as
cyberpunk, alternate worlds, or space opera.

Lucienne Diver: It's always difficult to predict the future. Trends
come and go, sometimes nearly overnight, like mash-ups, and
sometimes lingering, like urban/contemporary fantasy. What I can
say is that sf and fantasy are eternal. Epics are eternal. Anything
that deals with the human condition and high stakes, whether they
be espionage, magically or murderously induced, will be perpetually
popular.

Miriam Kriss: We're definitely seeing a return to more traditional
high and epic forms of fantasy, with a modern feel, and a hunger
for near future stories, rather than space opera. We've also been
seeing steampunk crop up in both YA and adult SF/F -- even in
romance!

Jean Naggar: There will always be a future for science fiction and
fantasy, and I include futuristic as well as dystopian novels. We
all love peering into weird fantastical worlds, seeing wonderful
alternate universes developed by others, playing with the "what
if..." and taking a break from the harsh realities of the
international political spectrum in our real world. Since science
fiction and fantasy are among the most creative genres, I cannot
speculate where the next talented imaginative writers will take us,
but I am sure that the journeys will be worth the trip!

Nancy Gallt: I think readers will always enjoy the genres, as they
have for generations.

2. Do You Feel YA is dominating the genre?
------------------------------------------
With the success of books/series like The Hunger Games and Percy
Jackson, do you feel YA is dominating the genre?

Eddie Schneider: No. Fantasy for adult readers, in particular, is
proliferating, and there's a whole class of excellent authors
that's cropped up in the last few years, including but not limited
to JABberwocky clients Brandon Sanderson, Peter V. Brett, Jon
Sprunk, Myke Cole... 

Sandy Lu: It's actually the other way around. SF & Fantasy is
dominating the YA genre.

Lucienne Diver: I think that partly the recent domination of YA is
because it's not so divided into genres. YA is its own category,
and to an extent that gives authors more freedom to cross
boundaries and pull in whatever elements they'd like. However, I
wouldn't say that YA is dominating the genre. Look at the Game of
Thrones series by George R.R. Martin or the Sookie Stackhouse books
by Charlaine Harris. There's a lot of great and bestselling adult
sf/f as well.

Miriam Kriss: It might be more appropriate to say that the genre is
dominating YA. There are still plenty of big name SF/F adult series
that are doing wonderfully, including the tremendous success of
Game of Thrones. In YA the trends right now are Horror and SF,
which a great way for readers to be exposed to the genre and grow
up hungry for more. 

Jean Naggar: The YA market is particularly strong at the moment,
but rather than dominating the genre, I think it is opening up the
connections between readers of all ages, making crossover books and
movies more and more frequent, and making intergenerational book
conversations once again the norm, rather than young readers only
finding age-based material.

Nancy Gallt: Percy Jackson is technically middle grade as Percy was
only 12 when the series began, but I think SF/F have always been YA
genres, it's the age when that kind of imagination and speculation
are at their peak.

Jessica Faust: I feel like YA is hot right now, but I don't know
that YA is dominating any genre other then it's own. YA books
should be sold in the YA section and SF/F will remain a primarily
adult market and sold to adults. I do think there's a lot of SF/F
or paranormal in YA right now however.

3. Are Adult SF & F Authors Jumping on the YA bandwagon?
--------------------------------------------------------
Eddie Schneider: I think there are quite a few authors who are
excited about the idea of writing for a teen audience. While there
are a few who've done it for commercial reasons, there are so many
more who've done it for the artistic challenge of telling a really
tight story with great characters. Teens have strong crap filters,
and will skip over something that tries too hard or feels
inauthentic, hence the challenge.

Sandy Lu: Yes, definitely. YA is a quickly-growing market, and some
adult authors, not just SF & Fantasy ones, such as Gail Carriger
and Philippa Gregory, are also writing YA now. 

Lucienne Diver: Yes, but when urban fantasy became hot, I saw a lot
of authors jumping on that bandwagon as well. I think a lot of
authors simply have more ideas floating around than they possibly
have time to write and when something skyrockets like YA has, they
may choose to focus on those ideas that previously might not have
had the best chance for breaking out.

Miriam Kriss: There are definitely authors who are doing both and
doing it well. My own authors Lilith Saintcrow and Kate Locke, who
write YA as Lili St. Crow and Kady Cross respectively, have found
their YA and adult audiences to have a great deal of crossover and
the pen names they've chosen are meant to be deliberately obvious
so that readers know which they're getting but at the same time can
find them easily. Other authors, like Jenna Black, write both YA
and adult fantasy under the same name. 

Nancy Gallt: I think a lot of adult authors are jumping on the boom
in children's books in general--look at James Patterson.

Jessica Faust: I can't say for sure about SF/F, but we're
definitely seeing it in other genres. I'm not sure if people feel
it's going to be easier, they'll sell more books, or they've just
always had a desire to write YA, but we're seeing a lot of adult
authors switching over.

4. What are the current trends in SF & F?
-----------------------------------------
First it was dragons, then kick-ass females in some state of
undeadness. Now with all the vampires and werewolves out there,
what are the trends? What sorts of characters are in demand now, or
will be in the near future?

Eddie Schneider: I shy away from this sort of thing personally; I'm
much more interested in books that have a strong and distinctive
authorial voice, than books that deliberately aim for the zeitgeist
(trends) -- in the long run, I think authors of the former stick
around and are able to make better careers out of it than authors
of the latter. They also write more interesting books, at least in
my opinion. That said, there IS a trend toward darker and more
realistic SF/F, and I'm happy to see this. 

Sandy Lu: Hard science fiction may be returning, and the boom in
fantasy may be on the wane. Robots and aliens may be the next big
thing. As for characters, the demand will always be the same:
multi-dimensional characters with deeply human stories, who the
readers can identify with, fall in love with, or love to hate. 

Lucienne Diver: It's very difficult, but not impossible, to find a
new angle on vampires. I think the way we'll expand and diversify
is by bringing in other cultural traditions. For example, the
mythology and superstitions surrounding vampires or shape shifters
or zombies or what have you differ vastly from one culture to
another. I'd love to see more non-European influences.

Miriam Kriss: Well as I said, there's a big push to find the next
George R. R. Martin or Brent Weeks on the fantasy side and a lot of
interest in both near future stories and steampunk.

Jean Naggar: Hard to say. The imagination is a wide-open
playground, and the next trend is as close as the next writer with
a wacky take on creatures and our world.

Nancy Gallt: A good story and a fresh approach will always be in
demand. 

But perhaps the best summary came from Agent Jessica Faust.  When
asked what the next big thing is, what agents are looking for, she
replied, "I think most editors, and probably readers, are looking
for the next thing, but no one knows what it will be quite yet."

So, for those of us who write Science Fiction or Fantasy, it's good
to know there will always be a market for our work and an audience
who appreciates it.
>>--------------------------------------------------<<

Michele Acker is passionate about writing.  She has had two
stories, Blood Debt & The Price of Magic, released in a new
anthology called, The Stygian Soul. She is also a contributing
author in a new non-fiction book called, The Complete Guide to
Writing Science Fiction, due to be released next spring by Dragon
Moon Press. For more information on Michele and her books, check
out her website: http://www.micheleacker.com/
Copyright 2012 Michele Acker

For more information on writing Science Fiction & Fantasy check out
our section at:  
http://www.writing-world.com/sf/index.shtml

****************************************************************

EBOOK SELF-PUBLISHING EXPLAINED
An epublishing revolution is sweeping the industry. We explain what
is happening and show you how to self-publish your own eBooks.
http://www.PublishYourOwnEbooks.com

*****************************************************************

Free Stuff for Writers: Web-Based Tools That Require No Downloading 
=================================================================
By Aline Lechaye

Fall is typically a season of change. It's the time when the leaves
on the trees start falling, the time when you realize that the
year's almost over, and the time when you start thinking that maybe
it's time to stop procrastinating and get some things done. Whether
you're thinking about starting a new blog/website, digitalizing
some papers that have been around collecting dust since forever, or
organizing your contacts, we've got free tools you can use. 

For you CSS/graphic art/web design fanatics out there, css Zen
Garden (http://www.csszengarden.com/) is the place to find
inspiration. For everyone else, it's also a great place to find
inspiration, if you happen to be making, say, your official
author's website or a promo website for your latest book. Click
through the example CSS files displayed to the right of the page,
or go to the archives (
http://www.mezzoblue.com/zengarden/alldesigns/) to find all the CSS
designs the site has accumulated so far. Note down the design
elements, color combinations, and overall styles that you prefer.
Even if you're not an expert in computer code, you'll at least have
an idea what you're hoping to see in your own website. Plus, the
designs are just breathtakingly amazing--definitely worth a second
look. 

Free OCR (http://www.free-ocr.com/): Thanks to Writing World
publisher Moira for sending me this nifty little web tool that
extracts "text from any image"! (Obviously, there's got to be some
text in the image for the tool to extract. This isn't a tool for
finding hidden messages in the Mona Lisa.) OCR -- Optical Character
Recognition -- is a type of software that recognizes text present
in an image, and then extracts it into a text file that you can
edit. Free OCR offers text extraction for multiple languages, but
the images uploaded cannot exceed 2MB, and cannot be "wider or
higher than 5000 pixels". Also, you can't upload more than ten
files in an hour. Sure, it's not perfect, but it beats typing out a
whole page of text by hand. 

It seems like there're so many social networking and instant
messaging services online nowadays that you have to be constantly
on high alert just to keep up with everything that's going on.
However, using eBuddy (http://www.ebuddy.com/), you can now stay
connected with all your friends and contacts on Google Talk, MSN,
Facebook Chat, Yahoo Messenger, and so on, no downloading or
software installing required. Furthermore, eBuddy works on your
iPhone or Android phone as well, so you can chat on the go. They
also have a free SMS delivery app which you can find at 
http://www.ebuddyxms.com/. 

Need to send a fax to someone who doesn't appear to have an email?
(Well, maybe their internet's down. These things happen.) Use
FaxZero (http://faxzero.com/) to send free faxes to any fax number
in the United States or Canada. You can attach multiple .doc or
.pdf files to the fax. If you'd like to send a message with your
fax, simply type it into the text box provided. The free service
does attach ads to your faxes, and there is also a limitation on
the amount of faxes you can send. Learn more about how FaxZero
works at http://faxzero.com/faq.php 
>>--------------------------------------------------<<

Aline Lechaye is a translator, writer, and writing tutor who
resides in Asia. She can be reached at alinelechaye"at"gmail.com.

Copyright 2012 Aline Lechaye

****************************************************************

THE WRITE SITES
=================================================================

InfoPlease.com
-------------- 
This is a fantastic site to browse when you are thinking up new
article ideas or angles, or looking for that extra zing to liven up
your article or story. 
http://www.infoplease.com/
        
Creativity Portal
-----------------
I just found this site and will be visiting it a lot!  It is packed
full of tips on how to boost your creativity, not only in writing,
but in your life as a whole and has a free newsletter too. 
http://www.creativity-portal.com/

CharlotteDillon.com
-------------------
Although this site is aimed at romance writers, it is actually,
useful for fiction writers in all genres and even nonfiction
writers too.  Click on her links for writers and discover a whole
load of handy resources including the handy guide to being your own
editor.  
http://www.charlottedillon.com/WritersLinks.html

*****************************************************************

SERIOUS ABOUT WRITING? Join the National Association of Independent
Writers and Editors, the professional association with a
career-building difference. We partner with you to create a
strategic online presence with genuine credibility. You get a free
NAIWE-linked website (and more) so you'll be where people come to
find writers. Join us today at http://naiwe.com!

*****************************************************************

AUTHOR'S BOOKSHELF: Books by Our Readers
=================================================================

Destiny of the Wolf, by Theresa Grant

Forensic Science For Writers, by Phillip Jones 

The Musical Adventures of Professor Anacrusis I: 
The Surround Sounds of Music, by Chrissie Tetley 

Superhero Origins & Mystique: The Quest for Superhuman Solutions, 
by Karl C. Hendrixsen (Kindle)

To Love Again, by Theresa Grant

Find these and more great books at
http://www.writing-world.com/books/index.shtml

Have you just had a book published?  If so, let our readers know: 
just click on the link below to list your book.
http://www.writing-world.com/books/listyours.shtml

*****************************************************************

ADVERTISE in WRITING WORLD or on WRITING-WORLD.COM!  For details 
on how to reach more than 100,000 writers a month with your 
product, service or book title, visit
http://www.writing-world.com/admin1/adrates.shtml

*****************************************************************

Writing World is a publication of Writing-World.com
http://www.writing-world.com

Editor and Publisher: MOIRA ALLEN (editors"at"writing-world.com) 

Newsletter Editor: DAWN COPEMAN (editorial"at"writing-world.com) 

Copyright 2012 Moira Allen









Copyright © 2017 by Moira Allen. All rights reserved.
All materials on this site are the property of their authors
and may not be reprinted without the author's written permission,
unless otherwise indicated.
For more information please contact Moira Allen, Editor