The SFF Chronicles Science Fiction & Fantasy Community

How to Write About Long Distance Space Travel?

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I’m currently working out the details for a 3 part novel series, and I am having a hard time trying to decide how to go about explaining how long distance space travel is accomplished in my story. Here is my quandary:
- I need to move a large ship across vast distances within a time period of around 70-100 years. Think Alpha Centauri and several light years distance.
- The ship is headed for a planet that is in the process of being terraformed and that...

Accountability with creative writing

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I've seen a few folk state beliefs or theories to the effect that lack of writerly creativity wouldn't be such a problem if it was like a job and there was the same external pressure you get with a job to get it done. I've been one of them.

Now, I wouldn't want to overegg this theory. But there's summat to it. And I think one part of it is that when we don't do the work, there's not a lot of repercussion. Different for those of us with agents/publishers who...

Space News: Mega roundup!

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It's been a while since I posted a Space News roundup!

A number of major stories have already been posted to the Science & Nature section of the forums, not least New Horizons Pictures of Ultima Thule, China lands on the dark side of the Moon, and...

Which Ideas to Keep and Which to Chuck?

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So we've had a lot of threads about creativity recently, and this is one of the aspects of it that I find most interesting.

And that is filtering through the ideas. Deciding which ones have merit and which ones don't. Both in the sense of fleshing out stories, and deciding which stories to write to begin with.

How do you go about doing this? How much do you test new story ideas before deciding to write them? At what point do you know whether a new story idea is...

Writing two different novels at the same time?

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I've made a good, solid start to the third book in my trilogy, and I don't want to lose momentum. The only problem is, something new showed up to the party, and it wants out. I started jotting down an opening scene a week ago, just so I wouldn't lose the idea, and I'm already 14k words in to the new unplanned thing.

I really REALLY want to work on this. But I also don't want to lose the good start to the other WIP, and have to get back into it later. Since...

Exercising imagination

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This is a follow-on from HareBrain's thread about critical choice and the eight-point arc for a story. Several people expressed the opinion that this kind of analysis interfered with their creativity or imagination. So my question is, how do you go about stretching, exercising and pushing the boundaries of your imagination?

I find consideration of plot elements, character types, scene structure and such to be a good tool for identifying what I've done In a story...

Wish-fulfillment and writing

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It struck me a while ago that perhaps the most fun way to write a book would be to have the characters do things you wish you could do, but experience hardship and danger while doing so.

There's a bit of this in Goddess Project, with the freediving in ancient ruins and so on, but not a lot. I made it more of a conscious thing in the YA I wrote recently, and it seemed to speed the writing up and make it more involving, though that might have been for other...

Critical choice and character agency

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I mentioned this in a crit this morning, and it got me thinking about my own writing, and writing in general.

Critical choice is one element of the eight-point arc, which, for those who don't know it, runs thus:

1. stasis
2. trigger
3. quest
4. surprise
5. critical choice
6. climax
7. reversal
8. resolution

This can apply to a whole novel, or a scene, and within the grand arc of a novel or series you will have major arcs, and within those, minor arcs, etc. The...

Music within Science Fiction films

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A lot of science fiction films include futuristic music, usually in bars, clubs and the like. I'm thinking of background music that the characters can hear, not the film soundtrack. Star Wars has the Mos Eisley cantina music, which sounds rather like old-fashioned jazz to me, the vaguely trip-hop "Chicken in the Pot" song from Solo and the band from Jabba's palace, who I think sounded rather like lounge music if I remember rightly.

In the prom...

January 2019 Reading Thread

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So I've got a number of archaeology books to read through, and the first I've picked up is Britain Begins by Barry Cunliffe, which covers the Paleolithic through to at least the Iron Age. I thought it would be just a general history, but he's also making an argument that the Celtic language group spread from Portugal and Northern France and along an Atlantic trading corridor which embraced Ireland, Wales, Cornwall, and Western Scotland - before the arrival...

January 2019 -- 75 Word Story Challenge

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Write a story inspired by the chosen theme and genre in no more than 75 words, not including the title

ONE entry per person

NO links, commentary or extraneous material in the posts, please -- the stories must stand on their own


All stories Copyright 2019 by their respective authors
who grant the Chronicles Network the non-exclusive right to publish them here

The complete rules can be found at...

300-word Writing Challenge #32 (January 2019) -- READ FIRST POST!

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The inspiration image for Challenge#32 is:

Image for 300-worder number 32.jpg

Image credit: MRSQ8GEEK


To write a story in 300 words or fewer
INSPIRED by the image provided above, in the genre...

Top 10 reads of 2018

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I had a good look and can't find this year's thread for us to list our favourite reads of the year. We used to do this every year, so I figured I'd put this up again and see who salutes. In order that I read them, my favourite 10 novels of the year are (perhaps):

C. J. Cherryh - Foreigner
H. Rider Haggard - King Solomon's Mines
Charles Dickens - Hard Times
Andrzej Sapkowski - The Last Wish
Nevil Shute - A Town Like Alice...

Gathering only 99p until News Year's Eve!

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Just heads-ups that my debut novel, Gathering (Chronicles of Empire 1):

- is only 99p/99c for the ebook until New Year's Eve
- the paperback has been slashed to less than £3
- it's been refreshed, with the prologue removed, and chapters now following a more traditional pattern (with only a few very minor tweaks to the text to accommodate this). If you have a Kindle version but haven't started reading Gathering yet, I recommend refreshing your copy...

The biggest problems with Jordan's books...and why he's a weak writer.

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1. 90% of the social dynamic is based on a very simplistic "battle of the sexes" mentality that is just very repetitive and 2 dimensional. I'm not sure any female characters have ever had a conversation in any of the books where they did not include a line like, "Men! Just children with hair on their chest, really, how do we put up with them!" Or some other completely over the top male-bashing. I'd say this infects 90% of male-female interactions, 90% of all...

Sir Edric Christmas discount!

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“Spewed Coffee on the Screen I Laughed so Hard” - Jo Michaels, review of The Adventures of Sir Edric

“...this book is ideal for both fantasy fans and booklovers in general looking who are looking for something different...” - The Tattooed Book Geek, review of The Adventures of Sir Edric


If you’ve seen bits and pieces of Sir Edric but never got around to buying the books, or you like fantasy/comedy and have just heard of him, now’s the...

The Fall of Arthur by J.R.R.Tolkien

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I thought this was truly marvellous. I really enjoyed it.

The book is made up of:
(1) Five Cantos of Tolkien’s poem “The Fall of Arthur” (about 40 pages)
(2) Brief notes on the poem (about 10 pages)
(3) Three essays by Christopher Tolkien
(i) The poem in Arthurian Tradition
(ii) The Unwritten Poem and its Relation to the Silmarillion
(iii) The Evolution of the Poem
(4) Appendix: Old English Verse (about 10 pages).

As you probably already know...

Up To The Throne by TA Frost released - and Free Chapter 1!

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My new book, Up To The Throne, is now out! It's a dark fantasy novel set in a magically-enhanced Renaissance, and tells of how one woman's search for revenge threatens to unbalance an entire city. It's available on Kindle, and the first chapter is free to download from my own website:

Revenge is never simple...

Giulia Degarno returns to the city-state of Pagalia with one intention: to kill the man who scarred her and left her for dead. But...

Rebellion: Modern History TV

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I've posted about Rebellion's boss, Jason Kingsley, and his involvement in mediaeval tournaments: Article on Rebellion Publishing's owner

Since then, Rebellion have been posting videos about knights and horses in the mediaeval period, under the channel Modern History TV: Modern History TV

I've only watched a couple of videos so far...

Writing Odd Couples in Fantasy

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I'm writing my second novella featuring my Odd Couple partners-in-mischief/crime - a bouncy little kitsune and grumpy little water elemental - and I'm finding it endlessly amusing to follow them on their adventures and to develop their friendship. (And my writing group finds them entertaining as well.)

Anyone else here who likes writing books and stories featuring Odd Couples?

How do you avoid falling into stereotypes like "a pair of mismatched cops teaming up...

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