A Goodreads user asked Jeff VanderMeer:
Do you have any advice or recommendations for young, aspiring writers who aim to branch out into the horror, fantasy, or weird fiction genres?
Jeff VanderMeer Because I'm invested in this question, apologies for mentioning things I'm involved in. For one, my writing guide Wonderbook was field-tested in part with teenagers (along with adults). I think its unique visual aspects should be of use for young, aspiring writers. For teens specifically, I help run Shared Worlds, a teen SF/F writing camp that's like no other. You can find details just by googling Shared Worlds. Other than that, the general advice I give to beginners of all ages is that you must work on your craft, on the actual act of writing and to not start submitting your fiction too soon. Get to a point where you've got some sense of beginning to get good. Exist just you and the work for as long as makes sense and revel in that connection. Once your fiction is published, everything changes--and you want that, because you're writing to connect, really, with an audience. But don't push it too soon, before you're ready. As for branching out in to horror, fantasy, etc...if you are at the stage of looking for publication, there are plenty of online resources to help.
More Answered Questions
Micah asked Jeff VanderMeer:
Hi Jeff, I found the lack of names for the characters in Annihilation fascinating. I have several theories on the reason, and the narrative itself drops some hints, but what was your motivation on "naming" the characters according to their job title rather than giving actual names to characters, as you do in Authority?
David asked Jeff VanderMeer:
You pull off a very tricky thing in The Southern Reach by making a story where relatively small events bloom, over the course of the book, into much creepier horrors *interiorly,* with characters who do a lot of analysis and rumination. How do you maintain so much tension under a quiet surface? And what authors have you drawn from in doing it?
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