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Monday, September 18, 2023

Mining that 'believability' factor


“Family legends confirm that I've been a storyteller pretty much from the moment I learned to talk. I quickly learned that character, pacing and plot were important to any work of fiction, but that nothing was more important than believability.” – Lynn Abbey 


Abbey, born on this date in 1948 in Upstate New York, brings a unique combination to her writing – being first a computer programmer, historian and astrophysicist, then a writer.   With her background in history, she said, “I love to curl up with a book about some dusty corner of history.”


In spite of that, her own writing began and mostly remains in fantasy fiction.  She broke into the field in 1979 with her novel Daughter of the Bright Moon and the short story "The Face of Chaos," part of a Thieves World shared world anthology.  She said she’s a big fan of anthologies because editors are interested in all comers, and you have a great chance to be included even if you’re a beginning writer.


Thus, In 2002, she not only returned to Thieves World with the novel Sanctuary, but she also began editing new short story anthologies, beginning with Turning Points.                                    


“For me,” she said, “writing a short story is much, much harder than writing a novel.  Short-story writing requires an exquisite sense of balance. Novelists, frankly, can get away with more. A novel can have a dull spot or two, because the reader has made a different commitment.”

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