My Favorite Writing Topic? Speculative Fiction

in steemit •  10 days ago

Wait. I think He Means For Steemit

Well, speculative fiction is what I would love to post on Steemit. In fact, I've been doing it with The Maya work-in-progress I've been serializing here. There's a full 38 installments to peruse as of this writing (39 goes up later today).

I like the term speculative fiction for what I do because it can encompass a lot of different fiction genres. I always have a hard time classifying what my stories are precisely because I don't think I hold to one specific genre. There's generally elements of science fiction, contemporary fantasy, and mystery in everything I write, and to some degree, action, adventure, and thriller. So speculative fiction wraps that all up in a neater bow and suggests that I'm trying to do more than just tell a story, which inevitably I am. I'm trying to get people to think, too. Not just about the story they're reading, but about what's going on around them in their everyday lives and what kinds of things they might want to pay more attention to.


My Two eNovels_Streemit.png

Image source—book covers for The Foolish and the Weak and The Wise and the Mighty, both written by me.

Okay, but seriously

Seriously. Speculative fiction.

However, I do try to be as well-rounded a writer as possible. I've ended up out of my range more than once, especially when it comes to predicting anything and talking about crypto. I didn't get on Steemit because of my love for cryptos. I got on Steemit because I wanted to create.

What About Writing About Steemit?

If you looked at all my posts to date, a lot of them have to do with Steemit. A casual observer might say, "That's his favorite topic. Always yammering on about Steemit. Steemit this and Steemit that." Okay, that would be more than a casual observer. The fact is, though, as sick as we might all get about Steemit related topics, there are always new people coming in and guess what they're trying to learn about: Steemit.

This current post is for the May 30 Day Writing Challenge that @dragosroua started 14 days ago. It doesn't happen to be about Steemit specifically, but it could be if you like writing about Steemit, and many of the other topics have been specifically about Steemit.

And then, @abh12345 held a contest that ended yesterday that directed participants to create a "Welcome to Steemit" post. You can find the winning post by @mountainjewel by clicking on this here.

Contests and challenges like these are popping up all the time, so Steemit is going to be a topic I write about. At least into the foreseeable future. Truth is, though, I'm getting kind of tired of Steemit posts myself. There's an ongoing need for topic diversification and so I'm looking forward to the day when Steemit related topics have waned and become less of a thing.

Just Throw Out Something Will Ya!

I'm pretty sure I already did. A few times.

Aside from They Maya and Steemit related posts, I've also been writing about things I'm doing. As kind of an ongoing series, I have the Grandpa Gotta Eat/Cook posts. I've also published a post on our garden progress, a few on flowers, accidents I've managed to live through, and other general life experiences that I would say are probably my favorite after fiction writing.

Was That So Hard?

Sometimes, there's no pleasing people.

However, that doesn't generally stop me from speaking my mind, which is another topic I enjoy writing about: expressing my opinion. I did it to an extent when I was a newspaper publisher, I've done it in a normal blog, here and there on Facebook and Twitter, and now on Steemit. So far, of all of those, Steemit has been the most satisfying experience I've had when it comes to stating what I think.

You Can Stop Now

Just to be clear, my favorite topic is speculative fiction. The ones that most naturally follow are giving my two cents on a topic and writing about my life. Other topics, like Steemit are farther down the list as far as what I like to write.

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Speculative Fiction. I like that; it does encompass a lot. Any fiction needs to be entertaining , but if it also doesn't

get people to think, too.

then in my humble opinion, it is not worth reading. Even most cheap escapist fiction has an element of "hmmm" to it.

I have to say I've been liking your "Grandpa Gotta Eat" posts too. They make me smile to imaging you cooking for the whole gang there.

And I loved seeing your book covers too. Did you do the 'art work' for them?

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No, that cover art is commissioned. I had the first one commissioned on Guru, a freelancer site. I really liked it, because I was going for a comic book cover style. I actually had the same artist do three covers, but he took so long to get me the second one (I think he actually finished the third book's cover first), that I had another artist, who actually writes epic fantasy (then does his own covers) to do the second one. I ended up with two covers for book two, but liked the one above better.

Yeah, I can't seem to just throw out a story without it have some kind of "hmmmm" to it. When I was 19, I could. Ah, to be 19 and oblivious. No, not really. Wouldn't trade what I know now for anything. :)

Well, I'm glad you're entertained by my culinary attempts. I can't compete with the cooking blogs here (which are much more expert and generally vegetarian/vegan), but I figured I could probably build some kind of audience out of people who like to read me bumbling my way through things.

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I've always been envious of artists and have taken up watercolor painting before and wasn't half bad, but I could never pull off something like your book covers.

There is not enough money in the world to have me return to my 19 year old self. Although in some ways, a re-do would be nice, because I would certainly do a few things differently, but then I know I wouldn't be where I am now, so I guess I wouldn't want to do that.

I really like your bumbling self, it's cute :) Please for the love of god, if your wife sees that, explain how innocent I am. I don't want the wrath of the 4'9" Mexican cutie after me haha

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I think you're good. She isn't much for computers, and I work out in my office. I don't think I've ever been cute, but certainly not since I was maybe five or six, but hey. Call my bumbling whatever you want. :)

Some people can put together pieces of art in no time flat, take them from rough sketch all the way through color in a matter of hours. Not me. Coloring has never been my thing, from crayolas to Photoshop. So, while I can do a decent storyboard, I'm not going to be the artist in full production. When I get the MISSES comic book up and running there will have to be pretty fast and pretty flexible and a jack of all trades, or else I'll be hiring at least an artist/inker, a colorist and a letterer. It'll get expensive real fast.

Speculative fiction is a very interesting genre, as is speculative science fiction, if that's a "thing."

I'm thinking of stories set in a world where (for example) Tesla — rather than Edison — gained dominance with electricity. Or a world in which Hitler was assassinated in 1937. Or the 1947 Roswell incident had been publicly disseminated rather than hidden.

Somehow, the best — or most authentic — writing always seems to be that which we write for ourselves when we truly are "in the zone."

=^..^=

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Science fiction and fantasy are a big part of speculative fiction, as well as subgenres and mixtures. I guess it's defined as any narrative fiction—so the telling of unfolding fictional events—with some kind of supernatural or futuristic elements. So, the examples you cite would be a part of it. There's some kind of social context, a message or moral perhaps, or happenings that will cause a person to pause and think about what they're reading and how it might relate to them.

In my case, I've been setting things either in the modern day, or within the known world, but perhaps 50 years ago, and then introducing those fantasy or science fiction elements, rather than say, creating a totally different world, like in science fiction and fantasy that isn't as identifiable and where the things that happen are normal within their environs.

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I admire the creativity; I am purely a reader when it comes to fiction; a writer when it comes to non-fiction. But the speculative aspects are definitely a great mindgame/thoughtgame.

=^..^=

Heh, I'm more of a straight fantasy guy myself.

Not that I don't sidestep int SF every once in a while, but for some reason, it just doesn't tickle my mind in the same way fantasy does.

I was actually pretty active in the fandom some 10 years ago - I've even won a contest for a short story.

I wouldn't mind having a peek atyour books - where can I get my hands on them?

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You can find them on Amazon. As I mentioned in the post, they're for kindle only, so as long as you have the kindle app, you're good to go. Then both books have a rather lengthy sample that you can read. Not sure how it's all set up for different countries off the top of my head, but here's the link to the first book on the Amazon U.S. site if you just want a peek. :)

I really got into Draonriders of Pern and a couple of the other books, but Stephen R. Donaldson's first two Thomas Covenant trilogies had a profound effect on me as a teenager. Strange thing about it, I never read the Hobbit or the Lord of the Rings books. :)

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Actually, I have a Kindle, well, I have a Kobo but it broke so I'm currently using my wife's Kindle :)
I'll check them out.

For some reason McCaffrey didn't seat with me, I've tried the series a few times but gave up.

Did you try Malazan Book of The Fallen - there's no middle ground with Erikson, you either love it or hate it. I highly recommend you try :)

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It's been such a long time since I've read either of those series that who knows if I would like them as much as I did when I was a teenager.

I've never even heard of the Malazan Book of the Fallen, but I'll look it up. I don't know how much time I have for reading these days, but I do need to cut down on my time on Steemit eventually. When I do, I need to get back into reading and writing, so I'll make a note to check it out.

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You should always find time for reading ;)

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Well, I have been. I've been reading Steemit posts.

Oh, you mean other things. Like fiction. Or something other than Steemit.

I'm waiting for the Amazon token so I can read their books and get crypto. :)

Actually, that's not what I'm doing at all. I'm just choosing to spend most of my time on Steemit right now, building as much of it up as I can. However, reading for crypto on Amazon is an awesome idea and I hope they hurry up with that token there's supposed to be developing, because hey, now the whole world wants their own. :)

Looks like I have more things to read. I often get caught up in greeting and trying to make new users comfortable on the platform, that I often overlook those who I share a backyard with. I love speculative fiction, and have been a reader my entire life, from the moment I learned how to read, (I was a late bloomer when it came to learning to read). I need to explore more of the pages of more of the people whose comments and occasional by catch post (like this one), I have a tendency to miss. I think you will be seeing more of me on some of your contents.

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The more the merrier. :)

What you're doing is important, though, but if you're able to strike the balance, go for it. Otherwise, the newcomers need as much attention and direction as they can get. Especially the good variety.

There's always a ton of content we're all missing, no matter what we're trying to accomplish here. I'm amazed at how I'll come across stuff that's over 7 days old and wished I'd been able to reward it still. So, anyway, I'm glad you're finding something of value with what I'm writing, and I'll look forward to you popping in when you can.

I got reading before I went to kindergarten via reading my Dad's newspapers. Then I wanted to be a journalist when I got into elementary school (that switched to an author soon after that). So, ended up owning and publishing two smalltown weekly newspapers for a total of 15 years, and have self-published the two kindle books. Go figure. :)

Reading is an essential ability for any writer, so I've done as much as I can whenever I can, too.

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I didn't really learn to read until I was about 7 years old, since then, no stopping me. I would rather read than watch Gilligan's Island.

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Well, it obviously doesn't matter when we start. It only matters that we do learn, and then all kinds of worlds are opened up to us, both imagined and real. Reading, writing, and learning a second language have been the most helpful things I've learned in my life. Everything else I learned in school or earned a degree in has been secondary when it comes to income. And since I didn't become a doctor or an engineer or become a tradesman of some kind, I'd think I could have skipped everything else and started my attempt at a writing career much earlier.

Naaaah. It's okay I learned math and got to read some history, current events and do some science projects. I just wouldn't want to go back and do it again. :)

Do you enter any of the fiction writing contests @glenalbrethsen? There seem to be quite a few around. Or are you just enjoying writing your book?

Congratulations on your second place in The League by the way. As far as I'm concerned you're still number one for engagement, as opposed to commenting, if you get my drift, nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more.

No idea if these last seven words have any meaning to you or it's a Brit thing but I no you like learning our new idioms etc. 😁

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Actually, they do have meaning. I've heard or read them before. I'm relieved really, to not be the only one to wonder about the commenting part versus the engagement part. After I did the math and realized that average character length per comment was just under 100, well, there was a moment where it didn't sit very well. Most everyone else is close to double or triple that each week, if not more. So, anyway, I'm over my brief whatever we'll call it, and I will say no more, except for thank you. :)

I entered a contest either in January or February (back before joining the leagues). It was one where the story gets created as you go—the contest runner creating the first several paragraphs, then the first contestant in (it was @beeyou by the way) added some, and then someone else added the next part. Anyway, there were three of us and I was the last of the three to write some. Mine won. Prize: 100 whaleshares, which I can't explain to you what they are other than they had to do with some temporary SP/delegation.

I haven't entered it since, one because I didn't really want the whaleshares, and two, there wasn't a whole lot of participation.

Now, it would be tough to do because I'm in the leagues and feel like I've got enough going on. At some point, I'd like to get into them more. The leagues have been helping me, so I want to continue for another period of time with them.

I haven't written on what I'm calling the The Maya for about four years. I haven't written anything else really outside of posts and comments since getting on Steemit.

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I think it must have taken me a bit longer to get over my "whatever we'll call it" since I was only able to leave a very general congratulations to everyone. You were way more magnanimous. 😁

I wasn't bothered from my own perspective but I came over all protective of you and Lynn 😂

Shame you couldn't win Steem or SBD in that contest although if you've not got time to enter it doesn't really make a difference I suppose.

There was a competition I used to enter, in my eatty days, but the changed the reward to some obscure token, can't remember what, so I stopped entering that one.

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Okay, that just officially made my day, and probably my week. 😬 I like the protective you, and I'm sure Lynn would appreciate it, too.

I did notice that you weren't your normal cheery on the comment, but I didn't know why. You've got enough going so I just figured you were off posting or commenting somewhere else.

I had to think for a little bit what to say. I mean, it's not a very enviable position to be in. All happy when I win and then curt or snitty or whatever we'll call it when I don't? No way I'm getting after Asher—they're his leagues and I'm still very happy to be a part—and cheneats doesn't deserve the heat, either, for being designated the winner.

So, it was what it was. And I really did remember how Lynn went about it, grace in both winning and not, so I figured I'd follow that. :)

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Well you did a great job. As did Lynn. 😍

It was easy for me because, if I remember rightly, you were the one who knocked me off the top spot. Makes it easy when you think the win is well-deserved! 😊

I settled down when I thought, if I've noticed the commenting aspect then Asher will have too. And, as you say, it's his leagues anyway. 😁

Well I often read your the Maya series and I like your Grandpa got to eat as it is always fun to read and I can just imagine you with the wife hahahhaha

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Well, she is by the far the better and more experienced cook. And when she's home and in a groove, well, you don't mess around. Me, I'm slow, but I like efficiency. I'm not trying to dirty every pan in the house. When she's going there's all kinds of pots and burners going. Me. One. If I can get away with it.

Well, I'm glad you're checking in with The Maya. I might start up another here, or maybe wait. It's the much older novel (first one I ever wrote) based on the comic book I was serializing (Outworlder). I haven't completely decided on that one yet. I might cringe too much when I re-read it. :)

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hahahha I think we (She) would get along! When I am in the kitchen I have so many things going on and using so many pots and utensils and people know when I cook I don't do dishes. Well, I never do dishes hahhahaha

Yeah Glen instead of Netflixing my relaxation is reading steemit posts now haha, Come to think of it my eye grade seems to be higher lately haha.

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I don't care for washing dishes either. At least in the preparation of the food there can be something new about it, although there's some tediousness to it, too. But it's creating. With dishes, it's about as repetitive and as boring as it gets. I've been trying to convince people here that if I cook, they should clean up, and if they cook, they should clean up, too, but so far, no one's buying that. I can't for the life of me figure out why. Sounds perfectly fair to me. :)

I've never been much for Netflix, anyway, though I have binged watched a show or two. I got rid of it when they upped the price on me, and since I'm doing this, I'm down to two shows, anyway—Agents of Shield and The Flash. I watch those after the fact via Hulu or The CW apps during a meal break. :)

this is very good topic