Speculative Fiction in Series: Review of Public Display of Aggression by Hugh Fritz

Today is my day to post as part of the WOW! Women on Writing tour featuring book Public Displays of Aggression by Hugh Fritz. Check out this book to learn how to write speculative ficiton in series.

Why am I calling it speculative fiction vs fantasy or science fiction? Speculative fiction is any story set in something other than the real world. It can have imagined elements, fantasy or the supernatural. The world of Hugh Fritz looks a lot like our world but there is time travel, science fiction weaponry, and genies! So I’m using the broader term.

A quick summary of the book:

First, about the book:

Soleil and Flarence are brothers and immortal Genies, the sons of Mohinaux. They can shape the universe with their magic. They have long been the most powerful beings in the world, near immortal, but a human has created spell casting weapons. This is the first time the brothers have encountered magic in inanimate objects. Genies are normally resistant to magic but these spells impact them as well as their human allies.

They find themselves working against the human who has learned to harness magic, Darren (a Genie that was created not born), and an animated corpse. This former corpse is not only intelligent but fast and strong. He seeks revenge on his killers but resents being used by the others on his “team.”

How will it all play out? Who will still be standing on the last page? You’ll have to read the book to find out!

Purchase Public Display of Aggression on AmazonOrganic BooksPageOne Books, and Barnesand Noble. Be sure to also add this to your GoodReads reading list.

Back to Sue and her review.

Fantasy is hard to do well. You’re introducing a complex story world and a host of characters. Often this is done with multiple points of view.

This is where a lot of readers give up. They get tired of guessing whose perspective they are currently experiencing. Hugh Fritz makes writing from several points of view work by simply announcing whose head the reader is in. Each change in point of view is marked by a subheading: Soleil, Flarence or Darren.

This eliminates this possible source of confusion.

Because this is a book in series, there is an overarching story. This story involves the interactions of a single Genie family, focusing on Soleil, Flarence, and Darren.

But each book also needs to have a stand alone story, something that happens in this particular book. In this book that story is the battle between two groups – the born genies and their allies vs Darren, the animated corpse, and a mad scientist.

Fritz does an excellent job of increasing the tension until the inevitable show down.

Series can be tricky to create. As a reader, I hate it when the book that I’ve just read feels like nothing more than the set-up for the next book. Fritz does an excellent job of creating books with individual story lines while also prepping the reader for the next book.

About the Author Hugh Fritz:

Hugh Fritz

Hugh Fritz is a fan of monsters, mad scientists, sorcerers, and anything that involves beings with incredible powers beating each other senseless. After years of writing research papers, he decided it was time to give reality a rest and let his imagination run wild. 

Find out more at: 

Website: http://www.hughfritz.com 
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Stories-by-Hugh-Fritz-397896477228957
Twitter: https://twitter.com/HughFritz1


How to Prioritize Your Writing

Am I the only one who has noticed this? With things opening back up, I am finding it more and more difficult to prioritize my writing. It isn’t just family things that are getting in the way. Writing related things are as well.

Last year, when everyone was in lockdown or social distancing, we discovered Zoom and online meetings. Not only did I meet with my critique group online, but I also started meeting with several mystery writers as well as other people who used to be SCBWI regional advisors.

It seems like no one wants to let go of these meetings which, in all reality, makes sense. Writing isolates us. Doing things that bring us into contact with other writers is essential. And yet . . .

There are only so many hours in the day. There are only so many days in the week.

Then I remembered something that I read recently. I think it was about Neil Gaiman, but I have to admit that I haven’t been able to find it again. So we will call this might-be-Neil-Gaiman person Maybe Neil. Anyway, I read that Maybe Neil decided that he wanted to be a speculative writer – graphic novels, novels, etc.

He learned everything that he could on that type of writing. When he was offered an editorial job, he turned it down. It was a good job. Maybe Neil would have earned a salary. There would be no more scrabbling for sales to pay the bills. But it would not have helped him achieve his goal – to be a speculative fiction writer.

I am a nonfiction writer. I also want to write fiction.

Earlier in the week I was offered the opportunity to take place in a blog tour for a writing book. I love the other books in this line but this one is specifically on writing for television.

“Ooo that could be fun,” Sue thought.

“Wait a minute,” thought other Sue. This is the Sue who is slightly less likely to run after shiny objects. “You need time to write. You have never in your life said that you want to write for television.”

“But it would be cool,” Sue thought.

“It will not help you finish writing your two novels.” This time other Sue was fairly forceful. In fact, she was forceful enough that I’ve been looking at a lot of other opportunities through this lense.

Is it going to help me get these novels written? If the answer is no, then it does not get any of my work time.

What writing goals are you having troubles meeting? Are they things that you really want to accomplish? If so, maybe you need to use a similiar technique to prioritize your writing time.