Sunday, October 24, 2010

How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy


Welcome to Day 1 of my Back from Hiatus Contest. I'm going to save my top two favorite books for last, the other three are in random order. So today's favorite non-fiction writing book is:

How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy.

Author: Orson Scott Card, Hugo and Nebula award-winning author of Ender's Game, Speaker for the Dead, etc.

Amazon.com price: $10.19

My favorite section:
In Chapter 4, Writing Well, the first section covers Exposition, which Card describes as "the orderly revelation of necessary information to the reader." Exposition is especially tricky in sci fi and fantasy, since the reader needs to learn the rules of the story world as well as the story background. Card uses Octavia Butler's novel Wild Seed as an example, breaking the first few paragraphs down in a way that really shows how to convery information to the reader without stopping the story to give lengthy explanations. I'd say this section alone is worth the price of the book, though the entire book is amazing. The section on Making Rules for Your World is also a must-read.

Don't forget to enter my Back from Hiatus Contest by commenting on the original contest post.

Happy Monday, Everyone!

20 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Great book!

salarsenッ said...

Thanks for sharing what Card had to say. Sounds like a must get book.

Christine Danek said...

I will look into this book. Thanks.

Joanne said...

Interesting that it's a how-to writing book specific to a certain genre, great idea! Seems like a good way to really cover unique details to sci-fi.

Lynn said...

Exposition would be tricky in ScFi and Fantasy. I'm re-reading A Wrinkle In Time right now, my first fantasy book I ever read and will be watching now how L'Engle explains the other world. Thanks for recommendation.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I have this book from my fantasy writing days. I found it focused more on SF than fantasy. Good book, tho.

Old Kitty said...

Wow - thanks so much for the intro to this how to book! Sounds amazing - and great snippet here too about exposition!

Take care
x

MT said...

I've heard good things about this one. Even if an aspiring author doesn't write sci fi or fantasy, he or she would benefit from OS Card's instruction.

Emy Shin (Sandy) said...

I remember picking this up from the library and reading it a few years ago, and inspired by it. I definitely do need to re-read.

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Thanks for pointing out this book, Susan...I know if you read it, it has to be good!

Lynda Young said...

I've heard good things about this book. It's now on my TBR pile.

Vicki Rocho said...

I admit I saw the Sci Fi/Fantasy title and thought, "oh, this won't apply to ME" but after looking at your chapter 4 highlight, I stand corrected. Good writing is good writing, regardless of the genre.

Myrna Foster said...

I haven't read this one. Thanks for the recommendation!

Lola Sharp said...

I own his Characters and Viewpoint book on writing, but not this one.

*crosses fingers*

I have SO many favorite books on writing, so I'm really looking forward to the next several days to see which are yours. :)

Love,
Lola

Talli Roland said...

Sounds like a must-have for the genre. I'm always in awe of sci-fi writers and how they build their world.

Kimberly Franklin said...

I love writing books! Thanks for the recommendation! :)

Shelley Sly said...

Looks like a really helpful book! I don't write SF/F, but lately I've been considering it. I might have to pick it up. :)

Holly Ruggiero said...

Oo, thanks. I have to check this one out.

Jackee said...

I gave my copy away for a contest without ever having read it! Wah!

I guess I should have read it... thanks for the rec. :o)

Jai Joshi said...

This sounds like an interesting book.

Jai