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Diabolical Plots is a Sci-fi/Fantasy zine that covers virtually every media related to the genre from books to movies to video games. This site also features regular content related to the craft of writing. Take a look around!

06 June 2009 ~ 0 Comments

When is a Writer a Writer?

Does someone have to like your writing to make you a writer? What if you’ve shown your writing to some people, but none of them have enjoyed it in the slightest. Must we seek a seal of approval to call ourselves writers, or should this writer declare his title regardless if anyone cares for his work?

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03 June 2009 ~ 0 Comments

Cinematic Descriptions

Trying to imitate cinema in prose rarely works very well, IMO. Prose can never imitate cinema well in this respect, and concentrating on this weakens the other aspects that prose can be better at. Cinema allows you to watch amazing events happen, but well-written prose allows you to experience it.

02 June 2009 ~ 0 Comments

Google Precedence–number 5

Just for fun, I did a Google search for my name to see where I rank these days. I’ve now moved up to #4, and even passed up one of my unsavory name-doppelgangers that has thwarted me for a long time–the web page is titled “Is David Steffen and elitist bigot?”

30 May 2009 ~ 0 Comments

A Dozen Story Ideas a Day: David Farland

farlandI recall reading from a Roman historian who complained that on one night, some 40 men were dragged from their beds and eaten by wolves. He said, “The only thing worse than the wolves are the wild Scotsmen themselves!” I was thinking about that, and suddenly my subconscious said, “Hey, I’ve got your magic system!”

28 May 2009 ~ 0 Comments

What Lies in Wait Beyond the Next Branch

How different would my writing career be nowadays if I had sent that first manuscript off to ESP instead of Tor. I probably would never have started writing short stories, so I wouldn’t have come across critique forums like Baen’s Bar. I never would’ve made the awesome friends I’ve made, and I would be left slogging through the revisions of that novel (or ones of a second novel) with little or no feedback to help me understand what works in stories and what doesn’t. ALL it would’ve taken would have been a different address on that one envelope, and this would be so different.

24 May 2009 ~ 0 Comments

“Snatch Me Another” by Mercurio D. Rivera

I highly recommend this story from Abyss & Apex: “Snatch Me Another” by Mercurio D. Rivera. It’s a well-told highly emotional tale exploring what the world could be like where we could have pretty much everything we wanted for free, by a new black market invention called The Snatcher.

23 May 2009 ~ 1 Comment

Wicked or Oppressed: Humanity Through the Eyes of Sweeney Todd

sweeney“They all deserve to die. Tell you why, Mrs. Lovett, tell you why. Because in all of the whole human race, Mrs. Lovett, there are two kinds of men and only two. There’s the one stays put in his proper place and the one with his foot in the other one’s face. Look at me, Mrs. Lovett, look at you. We all deserve to die. Even you, Mrs. Lovett, even I. Because the lives of the wicked should be made brief. For the rest of us death will be a relief.”

22 May 2009 ~ 0 Comments

The Runelords by David Farland

runelordsAnyway, since I started writing 2 years ago, I haven’t come across a single novel I enjoyed. I’d been starting to think that by learning to pick apart my own stories critically that I’d rendered myself unable to enjoy other people’s novels. So I was very glad to realize that I was thoroughly enjoying this one.

12 May 2009 ~ 0 Comments

“Deep Moves” by William Highsmith

Abyss and Apex has a story I particularly liked this month by William Highsmith. I tried to give this one a critique before it was published, but I enjoyed it so much that I really just enjoyed it the way it is.

29 April 2009 ~ 0 Comments

Article: Submitting to Literary Magazines 101: Professionalism

Interestingly, what Pat Bertram claims are the rules of the submitting to literary violate what is common knowledge for speculative fiction magazines. Listed below I listed the major differences I noticed. “Literary” refers to the comments entered by Vince Gotera (though he may not speak for the entire genre, he speaks as though he does).