As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Four Tips for Writing LGBT Historical Fiction

I love historical fiction; however, I’ve encountered the occasional work in which it’s clear the author hasn’t done sufficient research before writing. Anachronisms are the biggest culprit in this regard, so today I thought I’d share four tips on conducting research for your historical novel.

Read more

Gay Writers from History – Discussion

For today’s topic, and my last post for 2017, I thought we could discuss some of our favourite LGBT writers from history. I know a huge number of my favourite writers from the past were LGBT. Many are the obvious, famous names such as Tennessee Williams, Oscar Wilde, Rimbaud, and Verlaine. Not to mention Marlowe and Shakespeare, if you go along with the suppositions about the two of them.

Read more

Three Special Formatting Tips for Authors

Obviously, when you are submitting a manuscript you will need to check the publisher’s requirements to ensure you have used the correct font type and size, the correct margins, and the correct paragraph style and line spacing. However, there are three other things for which you should also watch out, and which will make your editors love you.

Read more

LGBT Slang – Discussion Point

The LGBT community has gone through many changes over the years and one aspect of that is its evolving lexicon. I thought it would be interesting to discuss this both as an historical subject and regarding the extent to which current LGBT authors incorporate slang terms into their writing. It is hard to tell how far back LGBT slang goes. Certainly the eighteenth-century molly subculture had its own lexicon, with some terms borrowed from thieves cant. No doubt the nineteenth century then adapted this to suit its own purposes as the decades passed. However, it’s in the twentieth century and … Read more

Asta’s Annotations: Epithets (Editing Tip for Authors)

Today I am wearing my editor hat and talking to the QSF authors out there (although readers may also find the discussion of interest). The topic I would like to discuss is the issue of epithets. This is something I see from authors across genres; however, it tends to be prevalent in LGBT fiction, no doubt because authors are trying to accommodate for the fact that they often have two leads of the same gender, between whom they need to differentiate.

Perhaps some of you are thinking, “What’s an epithet?”

Read more

Asta’s Annotations: The Path to LGBT Fiction

Today I thought it might be interesting to discuss how we all came to LGBT fiction, whether as readers or writers.   For me, it all started with the film Van Helsing in 2004. Meeting fellow fans through the LiveJournal account I had at the time led me to discover fan fiction, and slash in particular. One of my earliest serious attempts at writing was a fan fiction with a Dracula/Van Helsing back story. I’ve written the occasional piece since—Rimmer/Lister (Red Dwarf), Hannibal/Will (Hannibal), Ragnar/Athelstan (Vikings), Sherlock/John (Sherlock), Steve/Loki (Avengers) etc.—and I still read a story or two when a … Read more

Asta’s Annotations: Editing Tips for Sci-Fi/Fantasy Writers

Today I thought I would cover three of the common editing queries I see from science fiction and fantasy writers. 1) World and Race Names The common issue here appears to be whether or not to capitalise. My advice is to follow standard English conventions, unless you have a strong reason not to do so. In either case, the real key is consistency. Don’t swap and change from chapter to chapter; make a decision on your preference and stick to it. Here is an example based on common English usage, followed by a fantasy rendering. In Denmark, many Danes enjoy … Read more

Asta’s Annotations: The Death of Punctuation, or the Decline of the Reader?

Anyone who knows me well will know semicolons are punctuation marks about which my views are passionate. Unfortunately, many digital/small publishing houses do not appear to agree. Notes from editors frequently come through to me with requests to remove all (or at least some) of my semicolons since they are ‘specialised punctuation’. My response to this (in my head) is to ask: Since when? Now, this column is by no means intended as a rant against any publishers or fellow editors; I merely use it to illustrate a point. I fully accept that each publishing house has its own preferences, … Read more

Asta’s Annotations: How to Make Your Editor (and Yourself) Happy

Asta's AnnotationsGreetings! My name is Asta, and welcome to my new column Asta’s Annotations.

Since this is my first time posting, allow me to introduce my column and myself. I am a published author of both mainstream (Nicki J. Markus) and LGBT (Asta Idonea) fiction. I am also a qualified freelance editor, working mainly on LGBT manuscripts. I’ll be posting a monthly column at Queer Sci-Fi in which I’ll cover a range of topics. However, my primary focus will be on tips and tricks for writers and style discussions. Wearing my editor hat, I’ll also offer some advice on preparing your manuscript/submission, and that’s where I thought I’d start today. All my posts will draw on my personal experience. It may be that my tips won’t suit everyone, but even if they aren’t for you, I hope they’ll offer a springboard to help you find your personal style and preference. So, without further ado….

Read more