‘The Dent in the Universe’ Blog Tour: The Writing Process Of E.W. Doc Parris

Listen here. I’ve been asked to write a little about my writing process, and, this being the internet and your attention being tugged at by the siren call of your busy lives, I reckon I don’t have much more than 750 words to do my duty. So here’s what I’ll do; I’ll try to define the sort of speculative fiction audience I’m hunting for, then I’ll tell you what I think they’re thirsty for, and then I’ll try to wrap it up with my tricks for slating that thirst. How does that sound? Good. Let’s dive in.

Speculative fiction is just a name, a relatively recent buzzword, for stories that seem to lean more heavily on the writer’s imagination in the writing— and the readers in the reading. A story about a Wall Street hedge fund manager absconding with the hard-earned retirement funds of poor old ladies, for example? Well, that takes no imagination at all. Things like that happen every day of the week. Writers who write about those stories are usually called journalists if the names haven’t been changed or literary fiction authors if they have.

There are a few branches on the Speculative Fiction family tree. They are more alike than you and your Thanksgiving dinner guests. They all start with the same unspoken question in the storyteller’s mind: What if? How elaborate the rest of that question defines whether a story is science fiction or fantasy. But to me, the ground truth of speculative fiction is in that core question. What if women were forced by the state to bear children against their will? What if cities became alive at some point in their development? What if you could send IP traffic back in time?