I was invited by Mary Pletsch (with whom I have the honour of sharing a table of contents with in Kneeling in the Silver Light and Wrestling With Gods) to write a guest post at The Fictorians, on the subject of writing conflict in fiction.
Here’s a little bit of what I had to say:
Don’t say what you mean: writing conflict through dialogue
There are a lot of ways to express conflict through dialogue in a scene, but it can be very effective – and a lot of fun – if it isn’t done openly.
People (and characters) hate conflict. They usually do everything they can to avoid it, unless they’re devoid of empathy. But readers… they love conflict. It makes for great dialogue, exciting scenes, and a plot that keeps moving.
There is a mental trap writers seem to be prone to, if conversations I have on Twitter are any indication. (And I realize they may not be.) That is, that other writers are doing better than you somehow, and that this matters.
I’ve felt it! If you write, I suspect you have, too.
In case you haven’t heard about this book, Accessing the Future is a new SFF anthology that explores “issues of disability (invisible and visible, physical and mental), and the intersectionality of race, nationality, gender, sexuality, and class—in both physical and virtual spaces.” The table of contents has just been announced, and I’m thrilled my short story “In Open Air” will be included.
For those interested in lycanthropic continuity, I decided to write a short post about the linked werewolf stories I’ve been working on. I’d started focusing on short fiction between the last two drafts of my novel, which is now in the query trenches, and started building up a lot of tales about other characters in the world I’ve been working on.
I’m not sure what to call it as a series yet — though I’m leaning toward “Wolves of the Muddy Waters “ — but here’s the timeline for any readers interested in getting the whole picture. (This is not including finished stories that are out there on submission but haven’t found a home yet.)
If you prefer to avoid SPOILERS, then skip this and look at my writing credits here instead.