LETTER TO NO ONE: A Sci-Fi Tale of Tragedy
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Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. After the Mars colony fails and begins to lose its ability to support life, millions of people come flooding back to Earth for safety. Or so they think. The population has grown so dense that industrialized nations around the globe move at a frantic pace to try and support every living creature.
And together they realize one thing: They can't. In an unprecedented, closed-d After the Mars colony fails and begins to lose its ability to support life, millions of people come flooding back to Earth for safety. When a newcomer ventures into their land, their chance of finding the temple becomes dangerous…maybe even impossible.
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Write a book about how they really thought they were helping by creating a single drug with the power to eradicate diseases, illnesses, and even cancer. Write about how society has collapsed over hundreds of years, not with war or a single event like they always thought would happen. The years it took to destroy society was completely planned. But why? Since the manmade radioactive superstorm that destroyed most of life as they knew it, extreme measures have been taken to document every move of every person. Your main character scans a chip when they eat, sleep, travel, and even when they have sex.
When offered a way out, your main character takes it without question…which might be their biggest mistake. Write a story about how the government was taken over by the rich nearly 50 years ago. Your main character was lucky enough to be born into the wealthiest family. What they never thought of, though, was the fact that one day, the could be kidnapped and used as leverage. Write about a character who, after witnessing horrors of rising crime and drug rates, ran away at the age of 12 to live on their own in a secluded wooded area.
Now, after 10 years of solitude, people start filing into their neck of the woods covered in wounds, tattered clothing, and bruises. But contrary to what was expected, the water is actually creeping inland, not back out to sea. Write a story about how electricity is scarce…and very expensive. Your main character walks home one night to discover a brand-new electric car sitting idle in behind a forest tree line. They follow its tire tracks to find a massive house lit up and blasting music. A stranger waves at them to come in. With new laws, new standards, and new rulers in place, their life obtains a whole new purpose.
Write a story about how a little boy is running toward your main character, a look of absolute joy lighting up their face. Then they freeze, their joy turning to anger, rage. Your character cocks their head, confused, and then the truth hits them. He must be one of the Ruin Children, born from the people affected by the Great Tragedy. Write about a trial being the only way your character can ever hope to rise above their current abysmal ranking.
Your character needs a near miracle to pass their trial.
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Each day may produce a completely different reality than the one before. Tagged, chipped, and shuffled into line. Then a single guard takes pity on your character and offers them a way out. The world is ruled by one person dedicated to keeping the peace. When they discover how the world is kept at peace, their life changes forever.
Dystopian novels are one of the biggest trends sweeping the literary world. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you want to write dystopian using these writing prompts:.
400+ Creative Writing Prompts to Find Your Next (Best) Book Idea
In fact, they just want to escape from their own life for a little bit but prefer to read something realistic, something they can relate to. Contemporary writing is all about forming connections with readers. I personally believe contemporary can be one of the hardest genres to write because you have the least wiggle room when it comes to creativity. Contemporary Writing Exercise From Hannah Lee Kidder: Sit in public and pick a random person, then write a completely made up story on them.
Romance is the most popular book genre out there right now. People love reading about love! People read romance to be invested, to feel something real. Because being terrified is entertaining to some people, horror and thriller books exist and are quite popular! The great thing about this genre is that you can get really creative and really dark. Scaring people so much so that they sweat while simply reading is a difficult task. You really have to focus on the structure of your writing in order to create that reaction.
Human curiosity is what makes this genre so incredibly popular. We always want to figure out what happened. Mystery is a very difficult genre to write. These are some of our tips for writing mystery using these creative prompts:.
Weakened viruses train your immune system, small muscle tears make you stronger…and small bullets make you more resistant to larger bullets. Turns out, the government is awfully interested in your unusual ability. This , in other words, is how you use a newspaper article or TV news report, or letter, etc.
I fancy myself a smart guy, so when I get these messages—even ones that mention a bank I actually am doing some business with—into the spam folder they go head first. No bank will ask you to email them your account number. Writing is one of the cheapest businesses to get into, and if your books sell well that means they can be incredibly profitable, so having a good bank will, I hope, be really important for you. But before you can start depositing royalty checks into the Bank of America or whatever you have to carefully manage the balance of your Bank of Experience account.
A poor workman blames his tools, and we have only two: language and experience. Neither one is so poor as to hamper our ability to do what we dream of. The use of language gets taught at M. The use of experience is far more elusive, a long-term game not easily won. Experience poses the questions we are asked to live, and our writing is the mere shadow of an answer. Everything we hear, see, feel; every person we meet, work with, buy something from or sell something to; every cloud that passes in front of the sun, every drop of rain… all that stuff piles in there. Then, every once in a while, something unusual happens—and this is where I think we need to be particularly conscious of our experience accounts.
The pain quickly moved to my chest, then around the left side of my chest into my left shoulder blade. I started sweating profusely. Breathing was painful but possible. I started taking various over-the-counter medications and doing some light stretching exercises to try to get things under control. I sat down at my computer and found myself incapable of concentrating on the slightest thing. Call , or just lay down and be at peace with the howling blackness of infinite oblivion.
There were some fine-print alternatives that were slightly less scary, but I was one day ahead of my fifty-fifth birthday and at least a hundred pounds overweight, so I was definitely having a heart attack. But then, can you have a heart attack for four hours and still be walking around and, though in agonizing pain, alive?
Turns out the ER doctor and nurses thought I was having a heart attack, too, or at least that I might have been. They did all the essential tests, including ruling out heartburn. But they numbed my esophagus anyway, which made it feel as though I had partially swallowed a golf ball.
Still, they gave me a nitroglycerin tablet to dissolve under my tongue. Imagine taking a drop of highly corrosive acid and holding it under your tongue while it burns your bottom jaw off. Pausing here, as a now fifty-five year old fat guy it is nice to know that my heart and aorta are both perfectly fine.
In the past these stones had blocked things up, causing pain, then dislodged so the pain went away or was more manageable. This time they were not going away, and the pain was not manageable. So they wheeled me out of the ER and right to the OR where I scooted over onto a table, was told they were going to strap my feet down, then they put a mask over my face.
Someone was holding my legs down and squeezing my ankles and the little clip on the index finger of my right hand was pissing me off so I flicked it away. I little tube was blowing freezing cold air into my right nostril and it was making my nose run. They said they knew already and told me not to touch it but I had already. The bump was actually a little wad of gauze covering one of four incisions they made to find, snip out, clip off, then remove my gallbladder.
The curtained areas were numbered and the one next to me was 14, so there we have Isolation I have it on good authority that neither of the nurses were Nazis, real or imaginary. I also now know what it feels like to recover from four stab wounds to the abdomen because, though it may have been done in a controlled environment by trained professionals, I have in fact been stabbed in the abdomen four times, sewn up, and sent home. For the record, it fucking hurts.
I had minor, routine surgery, and lived, now I get to tell the tale. The Nazis will be all too real and my hero will be combative AF. Bring your painful, combative, Nazi-infested experiences to my four-week online. As authors of fantasy and science fiction, politics can come in many forms in our work, from another evil empire bent on world domination to an honorable and just king deserving of protection.
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An award named for decades for the editor John W. Lovecraft whose bust is no longer given out as the World Fantasy Award , that he was not quite as good a man as he was an editor or author. He was wild about everything—painting, art in general, books, rare editions, food, drink. Eating and drinking were almost a mystical experience for him.
A wonderfully likable man, full of vitality—if you forget his poems in praise of Stalin, of course. And my answer is… nothing. Nothing in particular, really, any more than any one of us can unilaterally set the political course for a nation of over three hundred million people, much less a world of some seven billion. I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the Communist Party. Are you a political author?
Are you writing political novels? If so, what are you in for at the close of the second decade of the twenty-first century? Manifestly political novels have always aroused some degree of suspicion. If you are writing a political science fiction novel like , be ready for anything out there but—I say from the comfort of my own life that will not be screwed with because of your book—write it anyway. Chinua Achebe, in conversation with James Baldwin , reminds us all that:.
Art has a social purpose [and] art belongs to the people. And art is unashamedly, embarrassingly, if there is such a word, social. It is political; it is economic. The total life of man is reflected in his art. A century ago, it was still the dominant form of storytelling so any writer with a political message to disseminate was inclined to give it a shot.
Campaigning writers believed that a veneer of fiction, however thin, was deemed necessary to sugarcoat the message.
I think some messages spread better in fictional form—as parables, fables, morality plays—than as a straight up piece of editorial proselytizing. A scan of my own copy—an original first printing from And they all assumed that there were characters , created by the players, who had some sort of goal in mind, were travelling from here to there for a bigger reason, and all that good stuff.
This is where the idea of a randomly generated fantasy novel breaks down. I need to know that everyone has a personal connection to the plot—a reason for characters to do what they do. But then how to start that process? What if you start by literally rolling up a few characters: the hero, the villain, the archetype, the other archetype, and so on. Even male, odd female and he stays a he with a roll of 2 on 1d6. Otgonbataar, a twenty-two year old petty street thief from the hard streets of the cruel city of Honorpause, the city where honor goes for a pause.
I have a start for a character and about Could you randomly assign a goal for a villain? There are sites all over the place that provide writing prompts. Try one. The story is about a tired treasure-hunter, an ambitious scribe, a fortune-teller, and a peasant. It starts in a magical dimension.
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The story begins with an inheritance, climaxes with an infiltration, and ends with a surgery. The end of one era and the beginning of another is a major element of the story. Now I have an ill-defined beginning of a goal: the villain wants to find a thing that will start the process that will achieve the goal. The story itself is really about the effect the search for that thing has on the characters. Otgonbataar and Company actually could journey through a randomly generated dungeon , kicking down doors to reveal rooms inhabited by random monsters. Good one! Generic enough that you can now go nuts creating your own weird-ass giant lizard.
A quick example of just how much Ready Ref Sheets rules. Now you know you need to do some worldbuilding about this particular monster, money in general, and magic items, whatever form they might take.