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seen Nov 24 '13 at 4:06

I have sold science fiction, movie reviews, medical nonfiction, restaurant reviews, and screenplays. I edited and co-wrote a chapter on writing science fiction, published in a popular college textbook on fiction writing (The Graceful Lie, edited by Michael Petracca). I created and co-edited UNEARTH, a science fiction magazine devoted exclusively to discovering and publishing new writers, which launched many writing careers (name-drop: William Gibson). I'm a physician, film director, drummer, scuba diver, and golfer.


Sep
26
comment What are these extra phrases added to the beginning of sentences called?
If I had never overstepped in my life, I would be a much happier man. ;) Thanks for the good link.
Sep
25
comment What are these extra phrases added to the beginning of sentences called?
I really can't see how these are prepositional. "Above all" might qualify, but even that is conceptual, not physical.
Sep
25
comment What are these extra phrases added to the beginning of sentences called?
"At last but not least" seems to be conflating two phrases, the one being "At last," the other being "Last (or And last) but not least."
Sep
24
comment Antagonist motivation help
Alec, not to be facetious here, but if you've had someone create a nuclear disaster and you don't even know why, then how important is his reason? Normally, the reason why someone does something as big as that is the driving force behind the entire book. Where are you going with this if you don't even know your own story?
Sep
24
comment Can Readers Relate to a Book without Humans?
So you're contradicting yourself, but I reiterate, you are correct; anthropomorphizing animals and aliens is often very entertaining and successful. My point in my answer to this post, however, is that a true alien is not merely a human hiding in an animal skin or an alien carcass. Trying to create a genuine alien is much harder than simply making a cute fish that acts like your own kid, or a wise Yoda who is really just a revered kung-fu master, grasshopper. The greatest science fiction strives for goals like this, and is much treasured by cognoscenti within the field.
Sep
24
comment Can Readers Relate to a Book without Humans?
I suggest you should think carefully about your argument here. The main thrust of what you are saying is that lots of stories about non-human characters succeed because we basically transpose human emotions into a non-human creature. In other words, we make something non-human into a human after all. And you're right, this works very well in mass market fiction, like Finding Nemo. But you started out your post by asking why do we connect with a character, and saying it's not because they're human, and then you went on to say make them human. (continued next comment)
Sep
21
comment Ways to replace the phrase “after all?”
Absolutely right. It's a useless phrase.
Sep
19
comment Overusing “the” and “I”
It's a bit challenging to imagine the excessive use of these words. Why not give us an example of text that concerns you, and we can comment on it?
Sep
17
comment Is it unusual to use product placement within a fictional novel, and what are the legalities around this?
@RhysW This is correct, and thanks for the amendment.
Sep
17
comment Is it unusual to use product placement within a fictional novel, and what are the legalities around this?
The simple answer: No, not at all. But you have to decide if you feel ethically bound to do so.
Sep
10
comment Real, serious and based on personal experience idea, but no previous practice. Where to begin?
Everyone who is doing something for the first time has had no practice at it. How do you get practice at it if you don't DO it for the first time?? Not having had any practice is not an excuse for not doing it.
Sep
10
comment Real, serious and based on personal experience idea, but no previous practice. Where to begin?
I read your question carefully, and you are basically asking why you can't write. Look at all the answers you have received. Every one of them is trying to give you advice on how to get over your block. You "sit stunned, afraid of putting text on paper?" I'd say that's a pretty good description of being unable to write. And don't call yourself stupid. You are clearly not stupid. My point was there are a lot of variations of the "why can't I write question." Yours is one variation. And if you write, you ARE a writer. So write.
Sep
4
comment Can Readers Relate to a Book without Humans?
@Joe Nice point, Joe. And as it happens, the monolith in 2001 originated in Arthur C. Clarke's story The Sentinel, so it was not merely in the movie. And yes, I would be hard pressed to see how to use its creator as a character. :)
Aug
31
comment Can Readers Relate to a Book without Humans?
@Mussri Your thought is aligned with mine. In my own story, Embodied In Its Opposite, I placed a human ambassador on a distant planet among creatures I tried to make so unlike us that nothing about them even seemed human. It's a daunting task, to say the least, but it's worth doing.
Aug
27
comment Is muteness appearing without explicit reason acceptable?
If no one knows about any of this, and his past doesn't matter, then why do you even care? How can it not matter? It's an awfully important thing about a person, but if it really isn't important, if you don't want the readers to know, and you don't want the characters in the story to know, then of what use is the information you are asking for in your question?
Aug
19
comment How to make a intellectually disabled character believable?
By the way, exactly what cliche do you see as the problem here? Could you identify it more clearly?
Aug
1
comment Techniques for creating variety in prose
@AkshatJiwanSharma Thank you very much!
Jul
10
comment How to become a productive/accomplished writer?
Well, admittedly, I can't say I'm not hinting, as John Smithers says, but I think that's valid.
Jul
10
comment How to become a productive/accomplished writer?
@CraigSefton I'm glad you made that comment. But note carefully: I'm not in any way making any kind of judgment call about his dedication, drive, intentions, motivations, or attitude. I am, in fact, pointing out to him that it's essential for HIM to make that call!
Jul
9
comment Roadblocks in my story: The Gladys Tribe
Well, Lizzy, of course I could give you MY answers, but those would simply be things I made up, and that would be how I would write it. It would be MY version of the story, not yours. The questions are posed by story itself, and you, the writer, must answer them yourself.