Cherie Priest

Author of Ganymede

Cherie Priest is the author of twelve novels, including the Nebula-nominated Boneshaker. She was recently conscripted to work with a video game company, but this project is top secret.


Thrity Umrigar on what writing has taught her.


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Featured Articles & Reviews

Foreshadow and Backshadow: What Are They and
How to Use Them

by Joe Moore
read article
Setting Free the Angel
by Jennifer Paros
read article
Book Reviews
Editor's Pick
Steve Jobs

reviewed by Jeff Ayers
read article
Attracting an Agent:
It Takes More than Good Writing

by Erin Brown
read article

Foreshadow and Backshadow:  What Are They and How to Use Them
by Joe Moore

Most authors know about flashbacks and how they allow us to convey backstory while the scene usually remains in the present. It’s a common technique in the writer’s toolbox for filling in the important history of a character or other elements in the story.

This article is about a cousin of the flashback called foreshadowing, a technique that also deals with time. Just about everyone is familiar with foreshadowing, although few know about a companion technique called backshadowing. Both work well when used discreetly.

Let’s start with foreshadowing. It’s the planting of hints and clues that tip off the reader as to what may come later in the story. For example, a character who is destined to die in an automobile accident 10 pages from now could complain about the icy condition of the roads as the weather gets worse.

This technique can add dramatic tension by building anticipation about future events.  more...

Setting Free the Angel
by Jennifer Paros

In creating a piece of writing, or in moving toward any goal, there is a strong temptation for me to gauge where I am in relation to where I want to be.  But when I check on a project looking for progress and assessing the work – my energy splits in its focus and it becomes hard for things to advance.   I’ve often heard the analogy of a seed used to explain the nature of allowing a project to grow.  We plant a seed and we wait.  But if we constantly check on it by digging it up and looking for its progress, we never see progress. 

In Greek mythology, Orpheus’s wife Eurydice gets bitten by a viper and dies.  Upon finding her body, Orpheus travels to the underworld hoping he can sway Hades to release Eurydice.  Hades does agree, but under the condition that while returning to earth, Orpheus must walk in front of his wife, never looking back – a directive Orpheus ultimately fails to follow. 

Orpheus actually already “has” Eurydice – they are almost home. But to want something so desperately that we stop trusting it is and can be and seek evidence outside ourselves, is the point at which the dream seems lost.  more...

Book Reviewss
Editor's Pick
Steve Jobs

reviewed by Jeff Ayers

Steve Jobs was a legend, and the technological changes he helped oversee and create changed the world forever.  Walter Isaacson had unparalleled access to his subject, and the numerous interviews with both Jobs as well as his family, friends, and colleagues have turned what could have been a simple book to cash in on Jobs’ recent passing into one of the best non-fiction books of the year. 

I was in high school when that “1984” commercial came on during the Super Bowl.  That instant classic is still considered the best Super Bowl commercial of all time.  From that point on, I had to have a Macintosh.  Twenty-seven-years later, I still work on Macs.  (And yes, I have other Apple products as well).  They are intuitive and never glitch, not like some other products I could name.   

The book not only looks at the life of Jobs, but also covers the beginning of the computer age when men and women were bold enough to experiment in garages with circuit boards and other electronic equipment. more...

Articles
Attracting an Agent: It Takes More than Good Writing

by Erin Brown

You’ve written an epic novel (The Sound and the Fury, Part Two: The Really Loud and the Really Mad), or the next great self-help book (You: A Renter’s Manual) and you figure, “That’s it. Now this puppy will sell itself. Agents and editors will realize the gold mine they have on their desk and the rest is history!” Right? Wrong. You might well have the next best thing since sliced bread and your writing talent could be genuinely brilliant, but if you don’t present yourself well to an agent (and an editor!), then you could very well shoot yourself in the foot. Sure, writing a fantabulous manuscript is essential to landing an agent and selling the book. But presenting yourself as an amenable author that an agent and publishing house wants to work with is a huge component too. Remember that an agent isn’t only signing your book, but you as well. They will be devoting an inordinate amount of time to you and your work, and will want to work with someone that they like, or at least an author who isn’t a total jackass. So how do you present yourself in the best way possible, increasing your chances for representation and ultimately publication? (*Note: bribery is so 2007, so up the ante or switch tactics if that’s not working.)

Here are the Dos and Don’ts.  more...

 

 

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