Posts Tagged ‘the terror’

Stage Time for the Antagonist

Do you have an antagonist in your story? Not every novel embodies an antagonistic force in a person, someone who works directly against your main character. But it’s a useful tool. The opposing character adds energy and tension to a story.

The villain on stage

If this is your fictional choice, why keep the villain off-stage? Even literary novels such as Dan Simmons’s The Terror, use villains to great effect; in Simmons’s case, the pompous Franklin and also the smarmy and horrific leader of the mutiny. They are brought to life by giving them dialogue and interaction with the main characters and in subplots. They have real work to do, and we see them do it. Read More…

The Terror

The latest book of Dan Simmons, The Terror, has been keeping me awake at night. Normally I wouldn’t appreciate that, but this story is so compelling, it’s worth the price. As historical fiction, it’s hard to see how it’s ended up on sf/f lists, but no more so than The Yiddish Policeman’s Union, I suppose.

The Terror is about an ill-fated arctic expedition in the 1840’s, when two British Navy ships are frozen in over a few seasons, the crews stalked by a beast, perhaps mythical, perhaps real. Read More…

Writing contests

In front of me is a stack of writing contest entries. I look at this pile of letters and emails and feel a jolt of nostalgia. My career started with a literary contest, and now our local writing conference is giving new writers that same chance. It gives me pause to remember how it felt to write alone, hoard my manuscripts, and wonder what is the point, and is this stuff any good?

I won a novel contest in a big conference (PNWA) some years ago… geez, a lot of years ago now, and in the audience for the awards ceremony was someone named Don Maass. Read More…