Hayden Trenholm: The writer's toolkit

During our Sci-Fi Odyssey here at Canada Writes, we'll be running daily writing tips from Canadian sci-fi authors. First up: The Aurora-winning author and playwright Hayden Trenholm on expanding what's in your writerly bag of tricks.

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Know your strengths and weaknesses as a writer. Use your strengths to advantage but don't become dependent on them. I began as a playwright and still want to write everything in dialogue and must remember to use the other tools in my kit. As a genre writer, plot and story come easily while character development requires attention. I use writing exercises, experience journals and sensual stimuli (photos, music, food, travel) to strengthen areas of my writing such as narrative description or to find new ways to express characters. Every writer is different—but we all need a variety of tools to craft our work."



Hayden Trenholm’s stories have appeared in On Spec, TransVersions, Neo-Opsis, Challenging Destiny, Talebones, Gaslight Grotesque and on CBC radio. In 2008, he won the Canadian Science Fiction Aurora Award for "Like Water in the Desert." He won a second Aurora in 2011 for his short story, “The Burden of Fire.” His first SF novel, Defining Diana, (Bundoran Press 2008) and sequel, Steel Whispers (2009), were nominated for Aurora Awards. Stealing Home was published in August 2010 and received an Aurora and a Sunburst Award nomination. He recently edited a collection of short stories called Blood and Water. 

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