Re: writing sf without making your readers cry

Kathryn Aegis (
Thu, 18 Sep 1997 13:21:01 +0000

Damien gives some sound advice for someone wanting to begin to write
sf (such an intimidating genre for even the best writer!), but I
would like to suggest that merely reading good authors will not make
someone into a writer.

When I look back on How I Learned to Write, it isn't books that I've
read that stick in the memory--it's the authors and editors who
worked with me to sharpen my skills and develop my own unique style.
It used to be that young authors could obtain this sort of feedback
by submitting their work, but nowadays editors have to spend most of
their time digging out from under piles of really awful submissions,
and works get rejected with no comment whatsoever.

Wherever one lives, there must be an art school, a community center,
or local writer's groups--places to find mentors and teachers to
help you gain a strong base of skills that you can use in any genre.
Yes, it means suffering through seemingly stupid writing exercises,
but it can also mean the opportunity to spend time with successful
novelists, poets laureate, and maybe even a sf writer who would be
willing to provide the sometimes harsh guidance needed to mold a
truly great writer.

I wish you success,