Your Character’s Thoughts

At a glance, it used to be easy to identify what a character was thinking, hearing, seeing, or saying BECAUSE the author would write: he thought, she heard, he saw or she said… The current trend is to remove such markers or filters to reduce the “narrative distance” between the character and the author. This is a psychological technique that gives the reader the perception they are listening directly to …

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Disabled? Differently Abled.

Your job. Your social life. Your kid’s soccer tournament. Only a major overhaul can fix your WIP’s* character arc. And the last story you submitted for publication got a flat rejection. How do you stay motivated to write when the universe is against you? Two of our members keep writing in spite of challenges. Or maybe because of them? “My biggest fear is being pigeonholed,” says Paul Martz of Erie, …

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Four Steps to Revising My Opening with a Critiki Bar Hangover

Ugh. I just woke up with a wicked headache, and my tongue feels like it’s taped to the roof of my mouth. That’s what I get for drinking at The Critiki Bar, my pick for best workshop of the 2022 RMFW Gold Conference. The bartenders (er, moderators) were Katharine Sands, an established New York literary agent, and David L. Robbins, a best-selling author and creative writing professor. Prior to the …

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Filter Out Filter Words

The most common stylistic problem I find while editing early drafts (both my own and those of critique partners) is excessive filtering and filter words. Filter words are terms and phrases that filter action or insight through a character’s point of view (POV). Overusing them is like asking your reader to watch your story unfold while looking through a dirty window. So, writing an immersive scene means the filter words …

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Pacing and Paragraphs

Having spent the last three years as a member of a robust online critique group and the last year as judge in a novel contest, I’ve learned several things about what makes writing effective. I’ve found many people have a story to tell, but only a small minority have the ability to tell their story well. One such aspect of good writing is pacing. Stories should speed up when the …

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Fall 2022 Newsletter

Welcome to the Spec Fic Writers Fall Newsletter. Follow along with our members who publish in many of the speculative fiction sub-genres including: science fiction, fantasy, horror, dystopian, weird west, fairy tales and more. Get to know our writers and our works. We also share our favorites in the speculative fiction genre and more…   Meet Our Member Mike Swain TaleRider Hits the Road Again With Travels and Tales What …

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Pixlr E Review – Free Online Image Editor

Image editing is helpful for authors who need images for blogs, newsletters, social media and other marketing activities. Those who self-publish often prefer an inexpensive image editor that is not too complicated. Photoshop is the standard for marketing professionals, but it has a very steep learning curve, not to mention a steep price. So, what’s an author to do? One possibility is the redesigned online service Pixlr E. The recent …

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Summer 2022 Newsletter

Welcome to the Spec Fic Writers Spring Newsletter. Follow along with our members who publish in many of the speculative fiction sub-genres including: science fiction, fantasy, horror, dystopian, weird west, fairy tales and more. Get to know our writers and our works. We also share our favorites in the speculative fiction genre and more… A Word with Spec Fic Writer Kayelle Allen Genre-hopping, super-productive author, publisher, and marketer Kayelle Allen …

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Paul Martz Named 2022 Roswell Award Finalist

Paul Martz is administering self-defibrillation after finding out that his story, Dr. Harriet Hartfeld’s Home for Aging AIs, is a finalist for the 2022 Omega Sci-Fi Roswell Award. Prizewinners will be announced during the May 21 awards ceremony, in which finalist stories will be read aloud by celebrity narrators. Attend the ceremony, and see if Paul is still wearing that same stupid hoodie. The Omega Sci-Fi Awards seek to empower …

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Spring 2022 Newsletter

Welcome to the Spec Fic Writers Spring Newsletter. Follow along with our members who publish in many of the speculative fiction sub-genres including: science fiction, fantasy, horror, dystopian, weird west, fairy tales and more. Get to know our writers and our works. To be sure you don’t miss an issue, click here to register for the email newsletter. Spring’s Featured Member If you joined Spec Fic Writers recently, you were …

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