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Sunday, 12 May 2013

What on Earth is Speculative Fiction?



Yesterday I attended the NSW Writers' Centre course: A Whole New World: Writing Speculative Fiction. Some of you may argue that I appear to be addicted to writing courses—those of you may be correct. But no matter how many courses I do, there is always something new to learn, especially if the course is taught by the wonderfully talented and inspirational author Pamela Freeman.

I think yesterday's course is edging out all the other courses as being the best I've attended to date. Not only was it extremely informative, packed full of great, read-to-apply information, but it was also specifically about Speculative Fiction—try saying that five times!

For those of you who are asking: 'what on Earth is Speculative Fiction?' Well, it's an umbrella term for the sub-genres of Science Fiction, Epic Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Fiction of the Fantastic, Horror, Paranormal, Alternate History, Historical Fantasy, and of course: Kids/YA which includes all of the above sub-genres. Basically, Speculative Fiction encompasses my favourite shelves in a bookshop. And yes, I'm one of those weird people who still buys books from a bookshop. Sadly, we are a dying breed.

The first book in my YA trilogy crosses multiple sub-genres in Speculative Fiction, mostly Fantasy, Paranormal and a bit of Horror thrown in for good measure. Seeing as I am currently plotting and planning my sequel, I was specifically interested in hearing how to best structure stories which arc over multiple books. I had been struggling with Plot Point 1 in my second book, but with Pamela's help, I was able to see that Plot Point 1 is actually the climax from my first book! Finally, everything started to fall into place and my fingers itched for a keyboard.

It was a really great and an inspirational day, and as always, wonderful to meet like-minded people who share my passion for writing and reading Speculative Fiction. Hopefully, in a few years time, there will be many more Australian Speculative Fiction authors on the shelves of bookshops. Of course, I'm hoping my name will be amongst them!

Until next time,

Astrid

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