Book Blog - How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy

Before we jump into my Book Blog, I wanted to point out a new feature on the website. If you click the calendar icon to your right, you’ll connect to a dynamic calendar of the upcoming YA MUSES’ topics! Just use the buttons to find out what’s coming in a week or in a month or in a year (ok, we’re not scheduled out that far, but still…)

Anyhow, on to the post!

This week I want to tell y’all about one of my favorite writing books, HOW TO WRITE SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY by Orson Scott Card. Hear me out before you scoff, “Well, I write YA Contemporary or MG Historical…etc,” because this book is for every fiction author.

You see, the thing about speculative fiction (whose major arms include Sci-Fi & Fantasy) is that it’s all about telling a great story with great characters set in a world that people accept as reality. Oh, wait, that could be any piece of good fiction. And Orson Scott Card is a genius at setting the foundations for these realistic worlds, even if they occur galaxies away. (Don’t believe me? Read ENDER’S GAME right now. Seriously, I’ll wait.)

In HTWSF&F, Card gives us insight into his process, citing examples from his own work and seminars. Including tidbits such as:
  1. Nothing is sillier than a story that has some great event in the world that provokes only one response,” (This could be a zombie invasion or a take over of the cheerleading squad).
  2. Humble little facts will save us in the end.” (True for historical romances and hobbits).
  3. Instead, information must be trickled into a story, always just enough to know what’s happening.” (Ditto).
  4. “…you should only use similes and analogies that would also be available to the characters in the story, so that the entire experience of reading contributes to the illusion of being in the story’s milieu.” (Be it in Fae, Klingon, or valley girl).

See what I mean? World building is world building. Often, we study masters like Orson Scott Card to see how they do “it.” With HTWSF&F, he tells us simply and eloquently. Honestly, a glimpse into this man’s mind is worth the price of the library card (or shoot, even buying the book).

Of course, executing is an entirely different matter…but at least he’s giving us the tools of a real craftsman and world-builder.


This sounds like an awesome book to read ... but I should really stop reading (as much) and start writing some stuff of my own. It's just so much easier to gather tools than wield them!

In other news, I wondered this morning how many people come to your blog looking for yam uses

I am not a Card fan, sorry to say... but I still appreciate those four items you listed. He's right, of course. I may have to read this book, whether I'm fond of the author or not. Thanks for the review!

I think you should write that story that you want to read! Not only in your books, but in your blogs. Drawing inspiration from other books and blogs is always a good idea as well.

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