I’ll soon be heading to a science fiction writing workshop on the coast with Elizabeth Engstrom, the author of When Darkness Loves Us and The Northwoods Chronicles. The pre-workshop meeting focused on conceptions of science fiction, ideas for world building, and meeting a great group of writers I’ll be spending the weekend with. We’ll all be drafting short stories in a 24 hour period.
At the meeting Engstrom emphasized Theodore Sturgeon’s definition of a good science fiction story as “a story about human beings, with a human problem, and a human solution, that would not have happened without its science content.” She also talked about two distinct strategies for world building, top-down and bottom-up. As you might imagine, a top-down approach starts with creating a general overall picture of a world, while a bottom-up approach starts with a focus on a few detailed elements needed for a story.
Autographed copies of Engstrom’s latest books are available on her website, as well as writing tips, upcoming seminars, and a link to her blog, “One Writer’s World.”