Mana Winds

We sail the mana winds into interstellar space.
We surf the bursting magic of the stars.
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Tove often pondered what reality really was. Maybe it was true that we are all in a simulation?

So when a window opened in front of her, hanging in thin air, it oddly didn’t bother her so much as it made her think “about time”.

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Professor Greene spread his wings while he brushed six fingers over his facial hair. I did not dare disturb him while he was thinking, and waited anxiously for his feedback.

"You're right, this does pose a problem. The simulation will grind to a halt if they keep this up."

We looked at the footage of the simulated people in their simulated lab as they were coming to terms with the simulated complexities of building a simulated simulation just like the simulation they were in.

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Tell, don't show

From the department of "oh, no, he's avoiding his editing again"

I know a few of you - authors, English literature students, and a few others - might have gotten close to choking on something when you saw "tell, don't show" since you've been told the opposite over and over.

Or maybe you're angrily firing up Twitter just from the title ( come at me! )

Ironically I've showed you, rather than told you about, one of the oldest tricks in the book: Make a controversial statement to pull you in, only to dial it back in the actual post.

Yeah, sorry, clickbait (I considered, but couldn't get myself to, using a title along the line of "13 weird reasons you should tell, not show, number 7 will amaze you" - merely typing that out here made me feel dirty)

But I'm serious. Somewhat at least.

I got to thinking about this Sunday morning, in bed, because I was trying to figure out how to wrap up editing of The Year Before The End, and particularly how I was procrastinating like an absolute champ last week.

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Causal Boom

(this was sent to my mailing-list first; sign-up below if you want more like this, along with other updates)

"Light in a vacuum moves at the speed of propagation of causality," he said.

I looked back at him with a blank expression. I had no idea what that meant.

We were walking past the accident site towards the tents that had been housing the investigation.

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Representation in writing

There are two main reasons to care about representation in writing.

The first is that it matters to people. The wonderful late Ursula Le Guin wrote about this in the form of the feedback she got from people who felt more represented by the diversity of her characters:

I have heard, not often, but very memorably, from readers of color who told me that the Earthsea books were the only books in the genre that they felt included in—and how much this meant to them, particularly as adolescents, when they’d found nothing to read in fantasy and science fiction except the adventures of white people in white worlds. Those letters have been a tremendous reward and true joy to me.

She also addressed the second reason. It matches the real world better:

My color scheme was conscious and deliberate from the start. I didn’t see why everybody in science fiction had to be a honky named Bob or Joe or Bill. I didn’t see why everybody in heroic fantasy had to be white (and why all the leading women had “violet eyes”). It didn’t even make sense. Whites are a minority on Earth now—why wouldn’t they still be either a minority, or just swallowed up in the larger colored gene pool, in the future?

This was churning away in my mind when I started working on my own universe.

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The path to Galaxy Bound

When I first started planning this series, I had no idea it would take this long for it to come to fruition.

I intended to self-publish from the start. That was not the problem. The problem was that I started writing without a plan. And roughly 10k words in, I ground to a halt. I struggled my way past another 6k words, but then got nowhere. To those of you with no concept of how long a novel is (that was me before I started writing as well), the bare minimum for a novel is around the 40k mark. My novels are now aiming for between 65k and 75k. That's 65,000 to 75,000.

It comes easy to me to write shorter texts. 3,000-4,000 word articles is something I've written many of on technical subjects. But a novel is a different beast.

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