Craig Boyack here, with another post on the Storyreading Ape’s blog. This is my eighth post here, and the assignment gets more difficult with each post. “Write something without going down the buy my book path.” It’s a great test, and I’m always up for a challenge.
I’m writing this early in the morning on Christmas Eve. I may actually have a new book out by now, but don’t dare write about it today. My topic is going to be speculative fiction.
In the writing world, there are more definitions for every term than are helpful. Look up word counts for short stories as an example. In most cases, I look to the definitions as guidelines and make up my own parameters. Speculative fiction is like that. For me, it involves at least one impossible element.
You can look to broad categories like science fiction, fantasy, and paranormal, or you can break it down to urban fantasy, steampunk, and alternate world fantasies. Speculative fiction is a broad category, and it gives me a lot of room to play in.
One of the things I do is use push feeds to fuel my Muse. I get articles fed to me in various apps every day. These apps usually refine what I’m interested in so I’m not getting a bunch of political news along with my archaeology, space exploration, and paranormal interests.
I’ve taken to saving the ones that interest me the most. When I have enough, I bundle them up into a post on my own blog. I call these The Idea Mill posts. Many of my followers write one form or another of speculative fiction, and by sharing, maybe we can all get ideas for our stories.
After I ran a few of these out, I decided they needed a category of their own. I include the categories in my sidebar so they’re easy to find. I think it’s a great resource for the speculative crowd. Maybe you can find an element to include in your story. Maybe you can find the perfect maguffin for your characters to quest after.
There are new discoveries being made all the time, and something with a scientific bent can give some real credibility to your fiction. You may never think of high tech cloth, but there are a few interesting ones that showed up. There was even an old tapestry that included a cryptic map. What a great place to start your quest.
Last year there were quite a few interesting primate discoveries and theories. Primates appear to be forming a relationship with wild canines, and could reflect the human domestication of dogs. In another case, monkeys were found chipping flint.
There was a cryptic photo of a sea monster last year, and a story of a German U-boat that was reported as being sunk by a sea monster. If you want to write a sea monster story, a few old discoveries could help you start down the path in an epistolary style story.
It looks like I’m promoting my blog today. Come on by and check out The Idea Mill posts. These get trucked out sporadically, depending on how often I find something worthy of sharing. There are quite a few already available, and you might find your next novel among them. HERE is a direct link to the category for those who are interested
Now the grandkids are about to wake up, and breakfast is ready. I need to get back to my grandfatherly duties and Christmas Eve. Let me know if you find something useful in The Idea Mill.