Meet Your Instructor: N. K. Jemisin

N. K. Jemisin

Lesson time 06:34 min

N. K. Jemisin—Nora Keita Jemisin—is the three-time Hugo Award–winning author of The Broken Earth Trilogy. She opens by talking about genres of science fiction and fantasy, her personal journey, and what you’ll learn in her class.

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[MUSIC PLAYING] N. K. JEMISIN: One of the things that I liked about science fiction and fantasy when I was younger was the fact that my parents had been giving me lots of books of African-American history, trying to make sure that I understood where I had come from. But with science fiction and fantasy, I could figure out where I was going. And that's the thing that I really wanted to know. I think I was like any child who reads science fiction and fantasy imagining myself going into space and doing cool space stuff. Books were the only way that I could see myself in space. And even then, I had to really work at it because the books weren't putting me there. It was only my imagination that would. When I began my career as a writer, people were up front with me about how hard it would be. What I don't think people said to me is that if you were legit good, if you work and hone your craft, you will eventually break in. Because you're a good writer. If you aren't good yet, work hard. Get better, and then keep trying. And you will eventually make it. Yes, you're going to doubt yourself. Yes, you're going to be afraid. Yes, you're going to struggle. Yes, it's hard, but it's worth it in the end. ANNOUNCER: For the 2018 Hugo Award for Best Novel, NK Jemisin. N. K. JEMISIN: The stars came closer for all of us. The stars are ours. Thank you. [MUSIC PLAYING] I decided that I wanted to become a professional writer when I hit 30 and had a baby midlife crisis. Anybody that's older than 30 is laughing right now. I'm laughing at myself. The idea of a midlife crisis at 30 is hilarious. But anyway, I hit 30 and realized I was not happy with the direction of my life. And I'd been a voracious reader up to that point. I continued to be a voracious reader. I've been one my whole life. And I was reading books that weren't as good as the stuff that I was doing. Like I was writing stuff and realizing, you know, this is actually pretty good. And here's this published book that someone got paid actual real money for. And I can do that. I can be at least that good. So I just decided at that point that I wanted to try. I have been an educator kind of throughout my professional life. As a career counselor, I taught counseling-related classes, classes on how to go forth and live in the world as a professional. And now as a fiction writer, I enjoy doing the same thing but living as a professional writer. And so if I can, through sharing my expertise, make another person's journey a little easier, or even if I can just sort of help them understand that what they're experiencing is not abnormal, it's just, you know, this is how it is. If you are just beginning that journey, just kind of learning how to just plain old write sentences and things like that, you may not find this super useful yet. But if you have refined your writing to the point that, you know, you're starting to look at ...

About the Instructor

The winner of the Hugo Award for three consecutive years for her Broken Earth Trilogy, N. K. Jemisin has sold millions of books and created new cultures and histories. Now the acclaimed science fiction and fantasy writer is teaching you how to create a world from scratch, develop compelling characters, and get published. Build your craft and share your voice with inclusive fiction that reflects your experience.

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N. K. Jemisin

Bestselling sci-fi and fantasy writer N. K. Jemisin teaches you how to create diverse characters, build a world from scratch, and get published.

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