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Orson Scott Card On Writing

Halloween and the Ghost Head Nebula Credit: Mohammad Heydari-Malayeri (Observatoire de Paris) et al., ESA, NASA

Halloween and the Ghost Head Nebula Credit: Mohammad Heydari-Malayeri (Observatoire de Paris) et al., ESA, NASA

I have a confession to make. I love to read books on writing, especially those penned by successful authors. Orson Scott Card, author of the award winning sci-fi tale, “Ender’s Game”, is one of my favorites. Recently, I just came across a copy of  “Characters & Viewpoints” in the local library and at present I am slowly perusing the contents. Other titles high on this specialized list include “Zen and Art of Writing” by Ray Bradbury, “On Writing” by Stephen King, “Bird by Bird” by Ann Lamott and “Eats, Shoots & Leaves” by Lynne Truss. The latter title is of particular interest, since it has sold millions of copies worldwide, despite the fact that the contents of this book deals with nothing except punctuation. It is a real tribute to the skill of the writer, who is able to turn such a mundane subject into a huge bestseller.

But back to Card. For what is so striking about Card’s title is the author’s ability to express himself in plain prose. Simply put Card’s writing is like a fast running brook coming out of the mountains, even when dealing with the nuts and bolts on how to develop a character or accent your particular point of view. For 173 pages the writer takes the reader, and guides him through the mechanics of writing fiction. And this is not the first manuscript Orson has put together on the craft of writing. Those who labor in the genres of science fiction and fantasy might enjoy “How To Write Science Fiction and Fantasy”.

And on a final point Orson Scott Card’s classic “Ender’s Game” just came one step to seeing actual production as a full-length feature movie. According to the Los Angeles Times the screenplay, which was written by Orson Scott Card, has been handed over to a Hollywood veteran, Gavin Hood, who also plans to direct the movie sometime in the near future. However, according to the same article the book generated some controversy with its extreme violence and use of child soldiers. And so it will be interesting to see how Hood handles this touchy sci-fi topic.

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