David Gerrold is a legendary author of Science Fiction. He created the Kzinti and the Cthor races. The Kzinti were used in the Star Trek animated series.
Albatross (Star Trek: The Animated Series) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
His contribution to Trek is significant: he wrote the Trouble With Tribbles episode that has achieved cult status with fans of the franchise and even spawned a return on the Deep Space Nine series out many years later.
Several years ago he wrote a book about writing science fiction. I read Worlds of Wonder several times since then. I hoped to have him sign it at one of the Worldcons that I’ve attended, but he hasn’t been to them.
Cover via Amazon
The information in the book isn’t all earth-shaking, but what parts are definitely do. The chapters on tension and on sex (granted, that part is not for everyone) alone are very useful – and the entire book makes for entertaining reading.
It actually isn’t only of use in writing SF but in other genres too. Just the chapter on a newer writing verb tense was interesting!
Get the book for yourself
I asked that question on my Facebook fan page several mkonths ago. Both are elements required for good fiction; I was just curious which one other writers preferred.
On closer study – this will come as no surprise to people who know me – plot is the more essential of the two.
Characters are definitely important – distinctive, memorable ones. Stock, cardboard ones just lie there, are easily forgotten and usually contribute to a story or novel not even being picked.
Plot is needed even more. It drives a story from point A to point B… without one a story just wanders aimlessly. A story can begin from memorable characters; as soon as they do something (anything) those actions become plot.
As such the two are intertwined.
Image via CrunchBase
I’m reading a book about formatting material for the EPUB format on my Kobo at the moment (unlike the proprietary .mobi format used by the Amazon Kindle.epub is used for other devices).
The style difference is large… for Kindle all text is formatted Justified; for epub it isn’t. In fact, the book that I’m reading is left-justified.
Note that I’m not trying to start a war of words, just asking for opinions:
3 years ago I bought Liquid Story Binder. In October, I plan to get Scrivener for Windows.
Both of them enable you to gather together all your character sketches, research and outline for a story in one place. Both offer ways to break things down and gather a project together.
Thing is: I find LSBXE has too many available options, and that it could distract you too much from the story itself.
Currently I’m reading 500 Ways to Be a Better Writer. I plan to buy his books about being a Freelance Penmonkey once I make a good dent in my reading pile; having a Kindle app and access to many free books I got a lot!
His writing style isn’t to everyone’s taste. He’s very caustic, swears a lot, and as a result can seem very crude.
Thing is: wasn’t Hunter S. Thompson abrasive and at times hard to take? He was seen as a ‘gonzo journalist’; Wendig is a ‘gonzo writer’.