Archive for the ‘Writing Advice’ Category

Worldbuilding with Sharon Shinn

sharon-shinn-color-pic This is the next to last guest post for the Ways into Worldbuilding series. I am especially pleased this week to welcome a true master of fantasy, Sharon Shinn.

Sharon Shinn has published 26 novels, one collection, and assorted pieces of short fiction since her first book came out in 1995. Among her books are the Twelve Houses series (Mystic and Rider and its sequels), the Samaria series (Archangel and its sequels), the Shifting Circle series, and the Elemental Blessings series. She lives in St. Louis, loves the Cardinals, watches as many movies as she possibly can, and still mourns the cancellation of “Firefly.” Visit her website at or see her on Facebook at sharonshinnbooks.

Aside from reader expectations, why do you build worlds? Is it more of an obligation than a pleasure? If the latter, what is enjoyable or rewarding about this aspect? Read More…

Worldbuilding with Django Wexler

Guest posts for the Ways into Worldbuilding series will appear on two more Wednesdays. This latest interview is Version 2from fantasy author Django Wexler.

Django Wexler graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh with degrees in creative writing and computer science, and worked for the university in artificial intelligence research.  Eventually he migrated to Microsoft in Seattle, where he now lives with two cats and a teetering mountain of books.  When not writing, he wrangles computers, paints tiny soldiers, and plays games of all sorts.

Aside from reader expectations, why do you build worlds? Is it more of an obligation than a pleasure? If the latter, what is enjoyable or rewarding about this aspect?

For me, worldbuilding is a pleasure, indeed sometimes a guilty pleasure.  I often end up worldbuilding way more than finally makes it into the book, and have to reluctantly prune out paragraphs of exposition that illuminate world details but serve no story purpose. Read More…

Worldbuilding with Louise Marley

Port Townsend PhotographerGuest posts for the Ways into Worldbuilding series will appear most Wednesdays through early November. This week’s guest is the award-winning author Louise Marley.

Louise Marley is a former concert and opera singer, and the author of 18 novels of fantasy, science fiction, and historical fiction.  A graduate of Clarion West ’93, she has twice won the Endeavour Award for excellence in science fiction, and has been shortlisted for the Campbell, the Nebula, and the Tiptree Awards.  Her historical fiction, the Benedict Hall trilogy, is written under the pseudonym Cate Campbell.  She lives on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State with her husband Jake and a rowdy Border Terrier named Oscar.

Aside from reader expectations, why do you build worlds? Is it more of an obligation than a pleasure? If the latter, what is enjoyable or rewarding about this aspect?

Since my inspiration is often visual, an image that comes to my mind, I love worldbuilding.  When I read, I expect to go someplace beyond the mundane world we live in, and when I write, I very much want to do the same.  I yearn for different scenery, different cultures, different societies, and a touch of the fantastic become real. Read More…

Worldbuilding with C.S.E. Cooney

Guest posts for the Ways into Worldbuilding series will appear most Wednesdays through early November. This week’s guest is C.S.E. Cooney.

C. S. E. Cooney (csecooney.com/@csecooney) is the author of the World Fantasy-nominated biopic collection Bone Swans: Stories (Mythic Delirium 2015). The Nebula Award-finalist title story appears in Paula Guran’s Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Novellas 2016.  She is the author of the Dark Breakersseries, Jack o’ the Hills, The Witch in the Almond Tree, and a poetry collection called How to Flirt in Faerieland and Other Wild Rhymes, which features her Rhysling Award-winning poem “The Sea King’s Second Bride.” Her short fiction and poetry can be found at Uncanny Magazine, Lakeside Circus, Black Gate, Papaveria Press, Strange Horizons, Apex, GigaNotoSaurus, Goblin Fruit, Clockwork Phoenix 3 & 5The Mammoth Book of Steampunk, Rich Horton’s Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy anthologies, and elsewhere.

Do you apply any sort of process to worldbuilding? How does a coherent world emerge in your work? Read More…

Kristine Kathryn Rusch on Worldbuilding

Rusch - FOR WEB-2465

Guest posts for Ways into Worldbuilding will appear most Wednesdays through early November. Today’s post is from one of our industry’s most versatile writers and editors, Kristine Kathryn Rusch.

International bestselling author Kristine Kathryn Rusch writes under several names and in every genre she can think of. She’s won more awards for her fiction than she can count, and she also edits. Her latest editing projects are The Best Mystery and Crime Stories 2016, which she coedited with John Helfers, and The Women of Futures Past. Her next novel, The Falls, will appear in October. For more information on her work, go to www.kristinekathrynrusch.com or sign up for her newsletter.

Aside from reader expectations, why do you build worlds? Is it more of an obligation than a pleasure? If the latter, what is enjoyable or rewarding about this aspect?

I’m constantly thinking about other worlds, other times, and other cultures. A big part of my what-ifs (the source of my fiction) is: What if I was born in that country? Or in that time period? Or on the Moon in the future? What would it be like?

As a kid, I used to imagine myself into photographs—what does the air smell like? What does the ground feel like? I still have a coffee table book of photos that my parents owned. I used to stare at it all the time, imagining myself watching those people or being them. Read More…