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Showing posts from June, 2012

Everyone, Go and Get Schooled at the Intergalactic Academy (This is Not a Drill)

I know we like to believe we hold the keys to the city of invention, and we are the ultimate force that defies physics and logic on a hourly basis, but here's the thing: you, especially if you're treading water in a whole new genre pool, have no idea what you're getting into. Just as fantasy-paranormal writers have cardinal rules outlining the behaviour of nasties, the weapons available to fighters against nasties, and the general course of worldbuilding, science fiction, the new shabang, has rules of its very own. And the thing is, well, it overlaps with science sometimes. I know, I needed to sit down after that too. 

But you can't well go treading through space the internet, searching for reason amidst technical terms and mathematical equations and theories with really long words/phrases and maths. For God's sake, man, we're writers, not physicists! And if you get lost, well, in space no one can hear you scream.

So, as a YA writer in need of some layman…

The One With Anil's Ghost and Crime, Part I (Challenging Your Readers and Their Perceptions, the Truth Edition)

Michael Ondaatje, of The English Patient fame, set one of his novels in Sri Lanka in the 1970s, in the midst of their civil war, about a UN anthropologist of Sri Lankan roots, raised in the US, who returns to her homeland and grapples with the cultural divide as she tries to determine the identity of a skeleton uncovered at an ancient burial site. This novel is Anil's Ghost. In this series, The One With Anil's Ghost and Crime, I'll explore the role genre plays in determining our characters, our plots, how it opens up our possibilities for originality, as well as structure and form, textual integrity and themes.

Today, I'm looking at how this novel is absolutely relevant to the discussion of forcing an engagement between your readers and your theme (not preaching, I should confirm right now), through the exploration of truth.

The problem that so many writers have with themes is that there is this preconception they stick up like a flag post, like a white flag in the mi…