Welcome back, dear readers! Today we chat with Issue 040 author Rebecca Bennett about her story story “The Remains of Prophecy“.
LSQ: Most of this story unfolds through the narrator and Mirwalda’s meeting, yet their discussion keeps propelling us through the story. What are your tips for action-driving dialogue?
Rebecca: Less is always more! My original draft was a wall of text of all the information that I wanted the two characters to convey. As I kept editing the story, that wall of text would start to crumble. There’s a saying that the best version of your story is half the size of the original draft. I think that’s true for dialogue as well. Getting a sense of your characters, specifically any quirks to a character’s speaking voice, really helps to distinguish the two voices and changes the conversation’s pace.
LSQ: I loved the lines about magic belonging to women. Why do you think this theme is so powerful?
Rebecca: Women reclaiming power is a feminist theme that has always been reshaping fantasy and science fiction tropes. For me, magic has always been female. I read about the Salem witch trials far too young and, even then, it was clear it was a persecution of women, not witches.
LSQ: What was your inspiration for this story?
Rebecca: I’ve always loved The Wild Swans by Hans Christian Anderson and all the different versions. I’ve read so many stories about the seventh son or daughter being a tragic figure. Tragedy doesn’t exist in a vacuum and I loved the idea of expanding the mythology of it.
LSQ: Are you working on anything else at the moment? If so, can you tell us a bit about your other projects?
Rebecca: I’m working on a novella about a crime-solving robot ghost in space. It’s ridiculous and I love it. Beyond that I’m riding that submission train, throwing edited stories out the window at each stop, hoping for a lovely red-lipsticked dame to throw a kiss my way–or just see a murder on the passing train—I’m not picky.