Happy Birthday, Nancy Kress, born 20 January 1948
- Write. Just do it. Then again. Then some more. And more. Do not wait for inspiration; if you do enough of it often enough, inspiration will eventually come.
- Writing is not a matter of inspiration except for your initial idea. Writing is a matter of sitting down and doing it. And you have to do a lot of it to get publishable.
- The mistake I see most often is starting with pages of expository ‘background’. It’s much better to get characters on stage, doing something, as soon as possible.
- [The first scene should] Establish voice and tone, orient readers in time and space, either start conflict or hint at conflict to come, and – above all – offer the reader something interesting: an intriguing character, a tense situation, a fascinating question, or gorgeous prose.
- The thing about writing is that it’s a solitary activity. It’s you and your computer and a bunch of people who don’t exist. And when you spend a lot of your day doing that, it’s good to get out and talk with other people who are in your field. I like conventions. I like SF parties. I like teaching workshops. I like the contact with people.
- An epilogue, like a prologue, is usually most effective when removed in time or location or characters from the main story. Otherwise, just make it the last chapter.
Kress is an American science fiction writer. In addition to her novels, Kress has written books on writing, including Write Great Fiction: Characters, Emotion & Viewpoint and Dynamic Characters: How to Create Personalities t.hat Keep Readers Captivated, and Beginnings, Middles & Ends.
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