Monday, October 10, 2005


Ten Things for the SF/Fanatics

1. Pushing a Snake Up a Hill -- SF author Jeffrey A. Carver's weblog. Also of some interest, his Advice to Aspiring Writers page (can we still call them that, or is it not allowed anymore? I got yelled at, so I've been going with unpublished.)

2. Geoff Eddy's On Creating an Earthlike Planet page, Conlanging and 3D Maps Toolkit.

3. Freelance's Contests page -- regularly updated, lots of different contests, awards, publishing ops, etc. (good for everyone, not just the SF/Fanatics.)

4. 37 Adventure/RPG freeware programs (enter a search for the words "science fiction" and you'll get five more free programs.)

5. Ronald Green and David Lloyd's Revelation page.

6. Browse 993 dictionaries at once with -- try the reverse dictionary feature, it'll blow your mind.

7. David J. Parker's Resources page.

8. Preditors & Editors A-Z Resource Listings page.

9.'s Writing Help -- home of the serial article How to Submit and Not be a Jerk.

10. Need a planet? Check out how to build your own over at John Walker's Home Planet page.


  1. Anonymous12:48 AM

    Some neat links...thanks for sharing!

    As regards your question about the term "aspiring writer"...I don't know what the current politically correct term is, but my sense of my own situation is that "aspiring writer" doesn't really describe who I am. On the one hand, I'm not aspiring to write -- as the term might imply -- but rather, am aspiring to have my novel-length fiction published.

    Neither, though, does "unpublished writer" work for me, because I have had other things published, including more than 125 newspaper articles. Neither does "aspiring professional writer" work, because I make almost as much of my living writing now as I do in my "real job", and am on track to cross that 50% mark toward full-time writing sometime next year.

    "Aspiring published novelist" is perhaps the best description of where I personally am in my career, but it's such a mouthful that I can't help but hate it on general principle.

    So, what's the right term to use? Heck if I know. But I have to say that, whatever the correct term is, I have a hard time imagining how a writer -- aspiring, unpublished, or otherwise -- who lets her/himself get worked up about this choice of moniker is going to find the toughness to succeed as a writer. Truly, we all have bigger things to worry about.

  2. Anonymous1:02 AM

    I don't care about the term much. But I do want a new planet so I'm going to hop on that link and build one.

    -- F

  3. Heck, I didn't even know about the whole writer/author thing until I read this blog. (shrug) People get tetchy about the funniest things.

    Technically, I'm published, and technically I make a living writing at my dayjob, so I'm not an "aspiring writer", but I am an aspiring to write novels professionally (that is: make enough to pay my bills by writing in my own worlds and with my own characters).

  4. Kickass set o' links.

    On the writer thing: 'aspiring' is ok, 'unpublished' is ok, 'prepublished' is out. 'Wannabe' works, too.

  5. "Aspiring writer" always makes me think of some poor little snog breathing heavy out of both ends.

  6. Anonymous8:08 AM

    I tend to call myself an aspiring writer, or else "a guy trying to write his way out of the slush pile." I didn't realize the term was objectionable, and I don't think it implies that I'm aspiring to write. I'm a writer who aspires to be published, aspires to find an audience, aspires to write better stories.

    Unpublished writer is fine too. Slush writer also works for me, but probably not for everyone.

  7. Anonymous9:30 AM

    I tend to refer to myself as an aspiring author. After all, I AM writing, so I'm not trying to become a writer. Also, I have publications, so I'm not unpublished. Instead, I'm working towards appending the word "author" to my name.

    Perfectly Insane Maniac with a Pen seems to work well as a description, too. ^-*

  8. Just "writer" is enough for me. :)


  9. I kinda like "slush writer", Mark.

    Makes me think of Slurpees.



  10. Anonymous1:37 PM

    I just finished Private Demon and it was AWESOME! Can't wait for Dark Need. Awesome book!

  11. I'm with Andi--"Aspiring Author", because author implies "book", not articles, so it's more roundly accepted. Also, since I work on a publisher's website, I come across it a lot differentiating the writers and the authors. But it's hard to believe someone yelled at you over it. Good lord, like there isn't something else more important to blow a blood vessel on?

    Hope you have a good week,

  12. 1st time here, very helpful links. I consider myself an aspiring writer like "Tammy Cravit" since I've had articles and poetry published previously but my dream is to have full-length works of fiction published. I'll be back. :)

  13. Anonymous12:32 AM is another great site for futuristic SF.

  14. If someone's got nothing better to do than rag on you about using the term "aspiring writer," which is often used in help articles for beginners, they need to get a life, 'cause they obviously have way too much free time on their hands. :P

  15. Anonymous9:17 PM

    With the whole "aspiring/newbie" writer thing, how do you suggest we go about getting linked on our favorite writer's weblogs. Is it too tacky to come right out and ask for an exchange? :)


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