How to Write: Science Fiction & Fantasy
Writer's Digest Books, September, 2001.
Paperback, 137 pages.
Hugo and Nebula award-winner Orson Scott Card is a prolific fantasy and SF writer who also excels at giving helpful advice to writers. He has taught writing courses at universities and writing workshops, including Clarion and the Cape Cod Writers Workshop, and also authored Characters & Viewpoints, another writing book. In his latest book for writers, he teaches writers the craft of fantasy and science fiction writing. The book includes five chapters. In the first chapter Card describes the differences between fantasy and SF and the many possibilities they offer writers. In the second and longest chapter, Card covers world-building and helps writers learn the rules of spaceflight, time travel and magic. The third chapter deals with story construction. In this chapter Card introduces the MICE quotient to determine which category your story or novel fits in. He explains that all stories contain four elements: Milieu, Idea, Character and Event; one of these elements generally dominates the story. The fourth chapter covers the writing problems, including problems of exposition and language that writers of fantasy and SF face. The final chapter provides information on the life and business of fantasy and SF writing. Orson Scott Card is a great teacher. Writers will appreciate his thorough teachings about the craft of writing and his explanations of why a writer should or should not do something. Card is also very encouraging in his tone, and helps motivate writers to write. Highly recommended.
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This review was published in the Oct. - Nov., 2001 of The Internet Writing Journal.
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