Journey to the Stars: Discoveries Shaping Sci-fi


One of the joys of writing Science Fiction is how quickly tomorrow’s technology can surpass a writer’s imagination. Computers the size of your palm? Done. Glasses that help you see 3-D worlds? Done. Real Pokémon lurking in your backyard? Well, sort of. And 30 years ago, no one really expected those inventions to become reality in their lifetime.

So what does that mean for a science fiction writer? Should we all retreat to fantasy? No!

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Fantastic Perspectives: How to Choose the Right POV


Point of View

Everyone sees the world from a unique perspective, or point of view (POV). If you’re vertically challenged as I am, you’ll likely experience life a bit differently than, say, an NBA player would.

In writing this is also true. Now, a reader’s height doesn’t matter so much when stepping into a book, but how a reader views a story does matter. Continue reading

Author Interview: Brenda Drake

Pen Friends, we are very excited to introduce Young Adult Author and Writing-Contest Guru, Brenda Drake! If you don’t know her yet, quick, get reading below!! 

*PS: There’s a giveaway. Check below for details.


SP: Welcome Brenda!

Thank you for having me!

SP: Can you tell us a bit about yourself and when you started writing?

I grew up the youngest of three children and an Air Force brat, so I was always the new kid at school until my dad retired in Albuquerque when I was in middle school. I host contests such as Pitch Wars and Pitch Madness on my blog, and hold Twitter pitch parties on the hashtag, #PitMad. Unfortunately, I’m addicted to coffee and Goldfish crackers, but not together. Well, unless I’m eating the graham cracker or s’more’s ones. Continue reading

What You Need to Know About yWriter5 Writing Software

pexels-photo-52649-large-1After I started taking writing seriously, I decided that looking for better novel-writing software (say, better than Word) would likely help me to stay organized[1] as I tried to complete one of my stories.

I’ve had Scrivener recommended to me multiple times, along with other paid software, but as a mostly-poor working adult, I wanted to find something else that would serve my needs for free. And eventually I found yWriter5. Continue reading

The Essential Guide to Writing Your First Draft


You’ve sat down, know your characters, have a plan for writing, the plot is nailed down, and you’re itching to get started.

The first sentence comes out and…. sounds like a preschooler wrote it.

You try again, delete your second attempt, and then switch to paper and pen. That will help! Several crumpled papers later, your waste bin is starting to fill but not the pages. How do you get that perfect intro sentence? How do you set the mood, capture beauty, or develop your style?

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Prompt: Survivor’s Club & Prompt Reply: Bench

survivor's club 1

When the boat lands at the shore, a dozen villagers rush over shaking their heads and hands. I pull on my sticky shirt, loosening it from my chest before I jump out. I shouldn’t be here, but I play the whole dumb tourist thing again, and hope they buy it like the last village did…

What happens next?


And… read the winner of last week’s prompt reply: Rebecca Henry of Alaska.

The bench looked deceivingly inconspicuous, like if you sat on it, you could enjoy your brown paper bag lunch, watching pigeons in the park, without any life altering events…

But it can be these simple things that can be deceiving; where no one would expect to find their worst nightmare.

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How to Find Your Writing Style

voice-vs-styleSTYLE VERSUS VOICE: any ideas?

As writers, we talk about voice on a regular basis. It’s what makes you, you–unique and individual, separate from every other person who has written about the very thing you are now rehashing.

But what is it about you that makes you wear the red dress with purple tights and galoshes instead of jeans and a pullover? It’s style—you’re not less you one way or the other, but it’s a choice about how you’re presenting yourself to the world—today.

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How to Choose Your Character’s Gender


How do you end up deciding this important choice? Is it from personal experience of the story you’re writing? Is it how the character presented him or herself to you? Is it how the story needs its main character to be perceived? Weak, strong, overbearing, shy… these all create ideas of gender for us, no matter which side the descriptor causes you to fall on. But how do you shake up those old pre-conceived notions without going on a crusade? (Only those who agree with you are going to read that, and will they really be reading to experience your story, or to be validated by it?)

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