jeeohn wrote:I made an interesting observation about my own writing while I was on the train the other day: I don't know how to write a simple, entertaining story. I came to this conclusion after coming across Penumbra's Space Opera themed March issue (deadline is January 15th, eek!), and subsequently failing to even begin my own space opera short story. It wasn't because of writer's block or a lack of ideas, but ineptitude.
I learn by reading. I've read many great authors and I contribute whatever technical ability I have to their work. However, the genre I don't have much experience in is space opera--at least, none in terms of short stories. I'm asking a few questions, really:
-How do you encapsulate an operatic narrative into 4-7k words?
-How do you generally begin these space opera short stories (in my failed attempt I found myself bogging down by setting the scene; I feel that I should get right into the action but I'm not sure what that means).
-What tone or voice is a modern audience expecting? I suspect that it's changed since the days of Doc.
-What kind of character is a modern audience asking for, and what kind of arc do they generally follow?
Finally, and most importantly, it would be awesome if you could recommend short stories that I could learn from. Thanks!
I concur with Krystal's picks, and Dan Simmons' story is the best of the first anthology. However, I think the second anthology is the stronger of the two.
Strycher wrote:I haven't gotten through the second anthology yet, but I'm just not feeling it. I'm only a few stories in though. Which was your favorite from the second?
AlistairKimble wrote:Strycher wrote:I haven't gotten through the second anthology yet, but I'm just not feeling it. I'm only a few stories in though. Which was your favorite from the second?
Now I have to think back--A few pop into my mind right off. Resnick's story, "Catastrophe Baker" I think, was a lot of fun. I also enjoyed the Kris Rusch, Neal Asher, Robert Charles Wilson and Jay Lake stories--though I can't remember the titles.
The Cory Doctorow was okay - sometimes I think he tries to get too cute. The same goes for Scalzi--though I generally enjoy his writing.
Oh, the Bill Willingham story was also a lot of fun.
Probably more than you wanted.
jeeohn wrote:-How do you generally begin these space opera short stories (in my failed attempt I found myself bogging down by setting the scene; I feel that I should get right into the action but I'm not sure what that means).
Ishmael wrote:As a postscript to what I said above, I have tried applying my own advice to two of my own rejected stories. I find myself astonished that I ever thought the lengthy introductions necessary. A great deal of introductory material made no significant contribution to the plot and the remainder was easily fed in at appropriate points as a sort of explanatory pause for breath during the action. Both of them read far better than they did before. One of them even had to be retitled because I cut out everything relevant to the title as irrelevant to the story!
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