Author Archives: Caitlin McKenna

Writing Convincing Aliens Part 1: Biology and Ecology

This series is intended to help writers brainstorm the elements that go into creating convincing aliens*. It can also be applied to creating convincing nonhuman fantasy creatures, artificial intelligences, and so on. My science fiction novel, Absence of Blade (coming … Continue reading

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This Book Is Not Yet Rated

About a year and a half ago, I was spending a lot of time on the fiction sharing platform Inkitt. Inkitt lets writers create a profile and upload short stories and even entire novels to the site, where other users can … Continue reading

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Why You Should Create Ugly Characters

Bear with me. Anyone who’s watched any Hollywood release or network television series in the past, well, ever, knows that lookism is a powerful force. It shapes not only the actors chosen to play leading roles, but also the types … Continue reading

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Have You Done Enough in 2016? 

 For many people this is a loaded question, apt to inspire feelings of guilt, panic, and apathy. We live in a society where doing, doing, doing is presented the bedrock of productive citizenship, where activity is lauded as the path … Continue reading

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8 Things I Learned From NaNoWriMo

Well, I did it. I completed NaNoWriMo with a grand total of 50,029 new words drafted between November 1st and November 30th. This was my second time attempting NaNoWriMo; the first stalled out due to student-related deadlines. Though completing the … Continue reading

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I’m Tackling NaNoWriMo 2016!

November sucks. Halloween’s over, and Christmas isn’t for nearly two months. Thanksgiving’s nice, but for the most part this is a dull, gray thirty days of the year that you just have to endure to get back to the good … Continue reading

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Don’t Sell Your Books on the Cheap!

I was strolling through the comments to a recent post on Chuck Wendig’s writer blog when I came across a commenter lamenting that recent changes in Amazon’s pricing structure have slashed profits for self-published authors. Having planned to go into … Continue reading

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A Singular Enlightenment

I’m a reformed Singularitarian. In high school, my dad gave me my brick-like copy of Ray Kurzweil’s The Singularity Is Near, a spiritual successor to his speculative books on the future of artificial intelligence, The Age of Intelligent Machines, followed … Continue reading

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Large Hadrosaur Collider*– Or, Thoughts on Jurassic World

Jurassic World takes the opportunity to engage with the themes of Jurassic Park and turns it into an hour and a half of plastic dinosaurs smashing together. Continue reading

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Where Are the Futures?

In his article “Where Are the Jobs?”, David Brooks observes that outside of the information technology arena, we have made little progress in realizing the ideal future imagined thirty or forty years ago. We still depend largely on fossil fuels … Continue reading

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