Archive for January, 2013

The Skill List Project: Imagery

This is another post in The Skill List Project: an attempt to list all the skills involved in writing and selling fiction, particularly science fiction and fantasy. Last time, we began looking at symbolism and I promised that this time we’d turn our sights on imagery. What do I mean by that? Let’s talk. Is […]

Avoiding the Convenient Plot Point

I work with a writing student, who is in the midst of working on a compelling project that I know will turn out very well.  Right now, though, she is struggling with some plotting, in a way that all of us who write, either as a hobby or as a profession, have encountered now and […]

Out of Step

As you might expect, I frequently get asked, “How’s your next book going?” I invariably answer, “Whose next are we talking about?” Generally people mean their next: the next book they’re going to see on the shelves. But you see, that’s rarely my next. You all are waiting for A Natural History of Dragons to […]

Author Information

James Alan Gardner

James Alan Gardner got his M.Math from the University of Waterloo with a thesis on black holes...and then he immediately started writing science fiction instead. He's been a finalist for the Hugo and Nebula awards, and has won the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award as well as the Aurora award (twice). He's published seven novels (beginning with "Expendable"), plus a short story collection and (for street cred) a Lara Croft book. He cares deeply about words and sentences, and is working his way up to paragraphs. Visit site.

David B. Coe

David B. Coe ( is the Crawford award-winning author of the LonTobyn Chronicle, the Winds of the Forelands quintet, the Blood of the Southlands trilogy, and a number of short stories. Writing as D.B. Jackson (, he is the author of the Thieftaker Chronicles, a blend of urban fantasy, mystery, and historical fiction. David is also part of the Magical Words group blog (, and co-author of How To Write Magical Words: A Writer’s Companion. In 2010 he wrote the novelization of director Ridley Scott’s movie, Robin Hood. His books have been translated into more than a dozen languages. Visit site.

Marie Brennan

Marie Brennan is the author of more than forty short stories and seven novels, the most recent of which is the urban fantasy Lies and Prophecy. Visit site.



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