Supporting Side Characters: The 3-D NPC

Time and time again, I hear the same critique about tv shows, novels, you name it:
"The main character was boring, but I kept watching for the side characters. They were so much more interesting."
Not that this is something we aim for, as creatives, but it does serve as a helpful reminder: that side characters are just as important as the protagonist


The Hollowing Out of Padmé Amidala

Often in fridging, the deaths are brutal. Usually they are tragic, a loss of what might have been. The death of Padmé Amidala, the very pregnant mother of the protagonists of the Star Wars trilogy so many grew up with, strangled by her husband, and then sort of just fading away after delivering her twins, is more elongated than the typical shocki

Weekly Wrap-Up: Week of November 16, 2020

So many blog posts, so little time! For your convenience, we rounded everything up in one easy spot:

On Monday, Jen Gheller had more complaints about amatonormativity and badly-written warrior ladies;
On Tuesday, we posted our penultimate Issue 043 author interview with Alexis Ames about her story "Halfway Through the Dark";
On Wednesday, the theme of d

Shoots for the Moon, Lands… Mostly In Pieces: A Review of Netflix’s “Over the Moon”

I was so ready to hate Over the Moon (2020). Mulan (1998) set the bar for Chinese representation in film low, and the 2020 live-action remake, despite its claims of greater authenticity and representation, somehow managed to lower the bar even further. Even the acclaimed Crazy Rich

Characters Who Deserved Better: Ashi from “Samurai Jack”

I suppose it says something that, after years and years of waiting for the final season of Samurai Jack, I barely even think about the show's finale. It's not that the final season was terrible; I just thought everyone--Jack and the viewers alike--deserved better. At least Jack got a bitte

Writing While Woman: NaNoWriMo as the World Burns

I haven’t participated in NaNoWriMo in 6 years, and it wasn’t because I wasn’t writing, but because I found the entire concept stressful beyond all belief. Missing a day of writing would send me into small panic sessions over my failure, and as the days passed, I would become even more despondent as I slipped further behin

Interior, Spaceship

For reasons totally unrelated to a massively popular online indie multiplayer game that takes place in space and requires players to have an intimate knowledge of a spacecraft’s different rooms in order to report and solve (or commit) murder most foul, the interior design of spaceships has become a fascination of mine in the past month or so. It’s interesting that despite having no knowledge of what a spaceshi

5 Things We Can Learn From Reading Science Fiction and Fantasy

Come one, come all, fans of science fiction and fantasy (SFF)! Whether SFF is all you read or you’re merely dipping your toe in the genre, I believe there are universal lessons to be found

-fi -fi

Weekly Wrap-Up: Week of November 2, 2020

What a week, huh? Here's what you may have missed while absorbed in other news:

On Monday, our November news flash dropped, with some important info about submission deadlines;
On Tuesday, the Issue 043 interviews continued with Anne Elise Brinich on her story "Assyrian Machinery";
On Wednesday, we learned all about fiduciaries from our law expert, Jacqui

Pep Talk #3

Confession time: I haven't been writing. This should not come as a surprise to me, as I've done this same thing basically for two decades now, and yet it is. In my heart of hearts, I know I should be writing, but I can still somehow never really write. Not regularly. Not the way I imagine it - and what I imagine is not some romantic every-day-or-else-I'll-die-I'm-a-writer-see kind of way. (Nothin

Your Agent is a Fiduciary … So What?

A lot of people worry about their contract with their literary agent, and it is very important that you read and understand your agency contract.

However, many authors are unaware that their agents also owe them fiduciary duties on top of the contractual duties. This is because agency, by its

LSQ Monthly News Flash: November 2020

Before you get swept up in the holiday spirit, take a moment and check out what's going on at LSQ this month:

Our submission window is still open, but only until November 15. Polish up those stories and get them in, people!
November is National Gratitude Month! We're grateful this month, and always, for you, dear readers, and all of your continued support. If you'd l

Classic Gothic Tales & Their True Villain

It’s finally that time of year again; where shadows dance, edged in flickering candlelight, and the unknown is all the more alluring as darkness descends.

*ahem* Sorry, forgot to turn off my Literary Voice. 

Spooky season. It’s spooky season.

As tomorrow is Halloween, I thought it’d be fun to take a look at s

Some Horror From My TBR List to Yours

Where do you find the books on your TBR pile? Book reviews? Recommendation lists? Randos on Twitter? Friends? Booksellers? The library shelf? Librarians?

My interest in this is multi-faceted. As a marketing professional for my day job, I want


Issue 043 Author Interview: Alexandra Grunberg and “The Family Recipe”

Just in time for Halloween, we chat with Issue 043 author Alexandra Grunberg about her witchy, magical, and slightly ominous story "The Family Recipe."

LSQ: This story has less of a plot and more of an ambling-through-time arc. What do you like about stories with no overt conflic

NaNo is the Hour of Our Discontent

It’s October, which means we have officially entered spoopy month--time for scary movies, pumpkin spice lattes, and dressing up in the comfort of your own home because there’s still a pandemic on and we’re not going to any parties anytime soon, right Karen?!

But for writers, it’s Preptober, which precedes NaN

Weekly Wrap-Up: Week of October 19, 2020

Looking for some magic and thrills this weekend? This week's posts can surely deliver!

On Monday, Erika Kanda shared some research tips to help assuage the fear that you're copying someone else's idea;
On Tuesday, we spoke with Issue 043 author Victoria V. about the magic behind her story "Vó Úrsula’s Magical Shop for Soul-Aches";
On Wednesday, Ann Langle

Alexandra DeWitt, Fridging, and “Disposable” Female Characters

Have you ever heard the term fridging? It is a trope that, put most generally, refers to the brutal death and/or harm of a usually female character solely to motivate the male protagonist. That is not to say that using death in a story is always wron

Issue 043 Author Interview: Victoria V. and “Vó Úrsula’s Magical Shop for Soul-Aches”

It's October, it's Tuesday, it's a great time for a magical author interview! Step into "Vó Úrsula’s Magical Shop for Soul-Aches" and enjoy our chat with Issue 043 author Victoria V.

LSQ: Beyond the sweet facade of Vó Úrsula's house lies a world in

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Wandering Shop

The Wandering Shop is a Mastodon instance initially geared for the science fiction and fantasy community but open to anyone. We want our 'local' timeline to have the feel of a coffee shop at a good convention: tables full of friendly conversation on a wide variety of topics. We welcome everyone who wants to participate, so long as you're willing to abide by our code of conduct.