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Friday, December 20, 2013

THE ABC'S OF HOW 'NOT' to WRITE SPECULATIVE FICTION: YOUR TURN - WHAT ARE THESE EXAMPLES OF?

IF YOU'RE ALREADY A SEASONED WRITER, or if you’ve been following my ABC’s since I started revamping them last July, you probably know what the common problem is below. I’ve touched upon it in previous posts. What mistake do each of the examples have in common? (There is more than one error in each, but they all have one main problem, in particular.)

Example One – half way through this story, a secondary character, Mike, is talking to Zack, the protagonist and newcomer to their Bio-Dome: “The Outlands get so romanticized here. I mean the Bio-Domes have their own sustainable food sources that produce real vegetables and alternative protein sources such as soy, along with energy reserves from capped gas wells, orbiting solar satellites, and nuclear plants. The prices are exorbitant and we still have to supplement our dietary and energy needs with recycled waste. We don’t like to dwell on that much, but if you’re looking for employment, food reconstitution is a growing industry, and the perks make the downside worthwhile – medical is free, for example.” 

 Example Two – the narrator opens the story with an opinion about alien sightings, and then introduces Mitchell, his main character: “Alien sightings have been, as we all know, hoaxes, the products of mischievous jokesters or greedy opportunists designed to attract attention or money from whomever they can con or milk for cash. Others who say they have seen aliens are usually victims of their own hyperactive imaginations. Despite knowing all of this, Mitchell could not rid himself of visions of grey-skinned aliens coming towards him with probes, while saucer-like ships hovered above his house, waiting for him to emerge, all of which on the surface seemed so dream-like, but which, he also knew, were horribly, horribly real.” 

 Example Three – the narrator, a secondary character, opens the story by introducing us to the protagonist, Candas Cornwall: “Had she lived longer, Candas Cornwall might have been known as Fireslyph, Queen of the Stars. In telling Candas’s sad story, I do not promise objectivity, for even though I only knew her for a short time, I treasure the lessons she taught me. Should I seem overly sentimental, it is only because of the wisdom she imparted, and secondarily her virtue, beauty, and youth, which is now lost to us and this remorseless world, forever.” 

So, what is the common writing issue with all of these? What are some of the problems specific to each of them? 

I'll share my thoughts, next post.

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