I preparing for a day trip to Atlanta, but I wanted to share this great post by Terry Bisson from Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America. He doesn’t just share a few tips for writing short SF/F, he shares sixty rules! Here are the first five:
1. Keep it short. It can and should be read in one sitting. That’s the first rule.
2. The novel’s timeline is folded into the reader’s real time. The short story is itself a real-time event. That gives the form a certain “Hey, you!” authority, like a fire or an arrest. Use that authority.
3. The SF reader is a gamer who brings a problem-solving intelligence to the story. This is the SF writer’s one great advantage. Use it.
4. The more extraordinary the idea, the more ordinary the language. Experimental writing is for quotidian events. James Joyce and Virginia Woolf understood this.
5. Keep your timeline simple. Flashbacks are out of place in a short story.