Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Writers Are Weird 101

I'm teaching my basic science fiction writing course at the Loft again this semester, which always makes me think more about writing than I usually do.

Tonight the lecture is about setting.

Sometimes I wonder how I'm going to fill an hour with a subject as pedestrian as "setting." But then I remember back to the time at a science fiction convention when I nearly got in a fist fight with Walter H. Hunt on the issue of plot, and how at a writers' critique group (not Wyrdsmiths) I gave myself a brain aneurysm over a fellow writer's inability to formulate sentences that included a subject AND a verb. (People who know me well will sometimes sneak up on me and whisper, "Trees with fruits the size of house cats" in my ear just to watch my face turn red and steam roll from my ears.)

Sometimes I think you have to be a bit insane in this business.

Or maybe it's just me.

I'm sure I'll find plenty of stuff to talk about tonight. Setting, particularly in science fiction, is actually a rather key element. I'm sure I'll even talk about how an author can use setting to advance plot (one of the big arguments at the MarsCON discussion). I might even get worked up and froth at the mouth.

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