Advice on writing fictional characters which I find helpful:
“Often as not, when I have a character who’s not clicking, it’s because I haven’t found what they’re angry about yet.
My favorite fictional characters are the ones who cannot witness evil being done without becoming fired up about it, and I have all the time in the world for characters who will go to the ends of the Earth to right a wrong. But I also have boundless love for characters who hold petty grudges, who are still stewing about something that happened to them in seventh grade, or who are just grumpy cusses. A character who is supposed to save the world, but can’t let go of an incredibly minor vendetta, is automatically fascinating. And utterly believable. That’s the great thing about anger, after all: it doesn’t really come with a sense of proportion.”
—Charlie Jane Anders, Never Say You Can’t Survive: How to Get Through Hard Times by Making Up Stories, Tordotcom (2021), Chapter 12.
Not “comforting” but “challenging.” Discussing “the sort of historical incident” that’s “rarely explored at any great length.” To Climates Unknown by Arturo Serrano, reviewed by Andy Sawyer in Strange Horizons today.
A description of the novel:
On September 11, the United States were destroyed. That is, September 11 of the Year of Our Lord 1620. In this alternate history, the Mayflower was lost at sea, and the English Separatists were disheartened from further colonization of North America. The United States were never born. The centuries that follow will see the emergence of rival empires that will split up the world between them. One will become the terror of the seas. One will rampage with carriages of steam. One will take to the skies. And the people caught in the middle will fight against the colonial system to bring an end to all empires.
Knowing what to say about a text you’ve read, or art you’ve appreciated, can be challenging.
Of your online presence and interactions, you might be asking yourself: Should you always tend toward a “like and share”? Will people not believe you if you “like” almost everything you see? Will people get bored of your posts if you “share” too often? Is silence sometimes more meaningful? Or more mindful?
Here’s a tip I stumbled across today.
You don’t have to “recommend everything,” says Rodney Frazier in the submission guidelines to Prism & Pen, written two years ago. However, “we are asking you to be mindfully generous of work written by your peers.”
You can be mindful and generous.