Nina Munteanu: Write from the inside out
The Nova Scotia SF author and ecologist on the link between the known and the unknown.
When I first heard the writer’s edict 'Write what you know,' I rejoined: but I write science fiction—I write about the unknown. What I still had to learn was that by describing 'the other,' SF really describes 'us.' We explore ourselves through our relationship with the unknown. Authors do this by connecting the premise and plotline of 'unknowns' to the theme of 'knowns.'
Write from the inside out. Write about what excites you; what frightens you; what angers you, makes you sad or happy. You know how it feels to have your knees shake with fatigue after a long climb or the hair-raising trepidation of walking into a dark strange place. When we give our characters experiences similar to our own, we breathe life into both character and experience, providing the reader an anchor for her heart."
Nina Munteanu is a Canadian ecologist and novelist. In addition to eight published novels, Nina has written short stories, articles and nonfiction books, which have been translated into several languages throughout the world. Darwin’s Paradox was the recipient of the Midwest Book Review Reader’s Choice Award and the Delta Optimist Reader’s Choice. Its prequel, Angel of Chaos, was a finalist for the Foreword Magazine Book of the Year in 2010. Nina regularly publishes reviews and essays in magazines such as The New York Review of Science Fiction and Strange Horizons. Her latest book, The Last Summoner, is a historical fantasy. Nina shares her time between Toronto and Lunenburg.