Alma T. C. Boykin. What hides in the twilight behind the wall . . .? Well, you need a crime. Or something mysterious that's not a legal crime but not right either. And you need someone to find out who did it, and to get justice. Right? Oh, and now you can have cats and... Continue Reading →
Genre Signals: Science Fiction
Starships! Computers! Blasters/phasers/proton torpedoes/lasers in spaaaaaaaace!!!! Toss those into your story, stir, slap on a tag and go right? If only. (I decided on this before Karen posted her piece, so I'm riffing off of her, plus going a few other directions. No, we did not plan in advance. Pinkie-claw swear.) Science fiction goes back... Continue Reading →
History in Fiction 2.0: Alt-History, Secret-History, Historical Fantasy
Alma T. C. Boykin So, you found a cool place in history and want to play with it. What if . . . Roland had not been killed in battle? What if . . . Charlemagne's grandsons had not divided up the empire? What if . . . the internal combustion engine had not been... Continue Reading →
History in Your Fiction 1.0 – Historical Fiction
It's a genre that waxes and wanes in popularity, although dramatizations of kings and queens seems to be very popular at the moment. Historical fiction goes back to the first time someone tried to imagine what it must have been like when . . . In a way, the Illiad is historical fiction, because the... Continue Reading →
Thriller, Thriller Time!
Alma T. C. Boykin I confess, I no longer read thrillers. I used to read Frederick Foresyth, (Day of the Jackal, The Odessa File), Alistair Maclean* (Goodby California, The Satan Bug, The Guns of Navarone) and novels like The Wild Geese, Hunt for Red October, and so on. At some point, I either lost my... Continue Reading →
Oh John! Oh Marsha! Oh boy, is it a Romance?
Alma T. C. Boykin So, having failed to learn my lesson, today's topic is romance as a genre. That is, keeping in mind that genre is about marketing. Romance as a term goes back to before romance as a genre, and romances used to be adventure stories that might or might not include a romantic-love... Continue Reading →
What’s In a Genre: Urban Fantasy
Alma T. C. Boykin In the beginning, there was fiction and nonfiction. Mostly. Ish. Sort of. If you didn't look too hard. And all was good, and all authors lived in harmony with their publishers, and it was Very Good. But then a marketing agent sidled up to Eve and said, "Psssssst, wanna get more... Continue Reading →
Dread Edits, only when I was thinking this through I ran the two words into one in my head. I don't think I'm alone in dreading the editing process. It's tedious, it can make a book you enjoyed writing into a boring chore, but it's necessary. Editing is part of the process, even if, or... Continue Reading →