Writer's Glossary - F
Speculative fiction dealing with highly speculative elements, usually incorporating non-scientific ideals such as magic. Fantasy includes, but is not limited to, the following subgenres and terms:
A term, rather than a subgenre, to focus on any fantasy wherein females are the main characters, or feminist viewpoints are espoused. Marion Zimmer Bradley's fiction often had strong female heroines, and her magazine, Marion Zimmer Bradley's Fantasy Magazine, published short fiction with female characters (usually with female authors).
A written piece created by a writer, usually in the form of a story.
Common rights purchased by publications in North America to publish the work of a writer or artist. It allows the publication first option to publish the work in the United States and Canada. Commonly abbreviated FNASR.
Rights purchased by publications to publish the work of a writer or artist. It allows the publication first option to publish the work in all English-speaking countries, including the United States, Canada, and England. Not very common, but some publications like to exercise such options.
Common rights purchased by publications publishing electronically, usually on the Internet, to publish the work of a writer or artist. It allows the publication first option to publish the work online.
Fiction that is extremely short. Different editors and publishers define flash fiction differently. Some consider it to be as high as 1,000 words. Anything from 1-1,000 words has been defined as such. Flash fiction is designed to be very short for quick reading. A safe estimate would be to consider anything from 1-500 words flash fiction.
A flashback is used primarily when a character is remembering something that happened, usually before the story began. Flashbacks should generally be used sparingly; if the subject matter of the flashback is integral to the story, you should try to work it into the story chronologically. However, it is a powerful device if you want to introduce information at a given pace and in a given order. It is a form of exposition, except that where exposition tells about something that happened "off-stage," a flashback generally details the action, just as a recollection.
Flashbacks can also be done in dreams, when a character is remembering things that way. However, dreams being what they are, they usually contain more than just memories but perhaps foreshadowing as well.
This is the opposite of foreshadowing. Where foreshadowing hints of things to come, flashbacks fill us in on things that have already happened.
An option in a publishing contract giving the publisher the rights to have "first dibs" on a piece's publication in foreign countries (in the United States, English-speaking countries are generally considered under First Worldwide English Rights as opposed to foreign rights).
A method by which a writer hints at events to come. Such events are usually evident to the reader but not to the characters. This is never direct, such as a character saying, "We're going to crash into that huge iceberg!" but rather with subtlety, such as the characters talking on and on about how grand and wonderful and perfect and totally unsinkable the ship is, all while sailing through iceberg-infested waters with not enough lifeboats. Even if we didn't know the history behind the Titanic's fateful voyage, we'd see it coming from the foreshadowing.
To make up a genre example: A character might say, "Sure, the six-legged snargbeast slavers a lot and has eight inch claws and two rows of fangs, but it really is the most docile creature on the planet. Nobody's ever been mauled by one; not even bitten. Their defenses are just that; they're vegetarians but need to defend themselves against a lot of predators. We have nothing to worry about." We just know at that point that someone is going to be snargbeast fodder before too long, and it's likely that most people will be introduced to all six legs full of claws before the story ends. (I realize the above example is a little overbearing, but it was done for example's sake.)
Foreshadowing is not always apparent. A good writer may be able to work foreshadowing into a story to give the reader the impression that something here is important, and will come into play later, but he can't quite figure what it's going to be—a great way to build tension and suspense. However, later in the story, when the reader discovers the hidden truth, he should be saying, "Ahgh! Of course!"
This is the opposite of a flashback. Where a flashback fills us in on things that have already happened, foreshadowing prepares us for what's going to happen.