Sunday, September 25, 2016

Creative People...

11. Get easily lost in their own world
(shout what you want, I'm not HERE!)
12. If not in their world get easily distra... hello butterfly!
13. Are lonely without their characters.
No real people are not as cool.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Thoughts on writing (6 - 10)

6. Kill your darlings. You can save their wordy little corpses in a file where you can look back on them with love -- I do -- but often, the little bits of text that we're the most proud of have no business being in the middle of the narrative. Nothing is sacred once the editing machete comes out.


7. The phrase 'write what you know' is innately flawed. I don't know what it's like to be a changeling detective working the mean streets of San Francisco, or a hard-boiled journalist with a crazy twin brother, or a teenage lycanthrope with a serial killer problem. Write what you're willing to know. Everything will begin with a kernel of pre-existing knowledge -- I know folklore (Toby), zombies and blogging (Georgia), and coyotes and high school (Clady) -- and expand into a fabulous orgy of learning. Toby taught me San Francisco history and lots of ways to kill people. Georgia taught me virology and plagues. Clady taught me about snack foods. If you're not willing to write anything but what you already know, you're going to be restricted to autobiography, non-fiction, and writing the same plot ten thousand times. And that's just not fun.


8. You are the author. That makes you, effectively, God. God created the mosquito. Sometimes, God can screw the pooch in a very big way. Being the author doesn't mean that you're incapable of being wrong. Sometimes, you'll write things that are out of character. Sometimes, you'll write things that are out of place. And sometimes, you'll write things that are just flat-out incorrect and inaccurate and insane and wrong. That's not a bad thing. The bad thing is refusing to admit it.


9. You know those parents with the totally out-of-control kids who run around the restaurant sweeping things off tables and screaming in the faces of all the other diners? And you know how they just sit there looking serene, because their kids are precious little angels and everything they do is wonderful? Don't be one of those parents. If your book spits in somebody's metaphorical soup, the appropriate thing to do is to apologize and discipline your text, not tell the person with the saliva slowly dissolving in their minestrone that they 'just don't appreciate the beauty of spit.' Not everyone is going to like what you do, but you can damn well make sure your kids don't trash the place before you pay the check.


10. When a book or an idea is new, it's okay to want validation. You're standing at the mouth of a tunnel that's probably thousands of pages long, once you calculate for discarded text and revisions, and that's scary. Ask people 'do you like my idea?'. Tell people you need to hear good things about what you're doing. It's okay to say 'it's my first time, be gentle.'


Sunday, September 11, 2016

Free spirit...

aka the "writerly mind" when 
manuscript and characters 
 ♪♫♪♫ ♪♫ HeiHo-HeiHo-it's in the garden we go! ♪♫♪♫ ♪♫

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Thoughts on Writing (1 - 5)

1. You're going to suck when you start. Sucking when you start is okay. Every new project, no matter how brilliant the idea at the heart of it happens to be, is going to start by sucking. Just deal with it, and soldier through. Every sentence is a learning experience.


 2. The rules of English grammar were devised by an evil linguist who had a bone to pick with the adherents of the more traditional schools of the written word. They laughed at him in the academy, and we bastards are still paying today. You don't need to have a perfect grasp of the seventeen thousand (occasionally conflicting) rules to be a writer; that's what editors and proofreaders are for. At the same time, you can't just throw a bunch of words at the page and expect to have all your work done for you. Learn the basic rules of punctuation and grammar before you subject other people to your work. They can squabble over the Oxford commas at their leisure.


3. Putting fifty thousand words on paper does not make you a novelist. It makes you someone who successfully put fifty thousand words on paper. You should be proud of yourself for that, because dude, it's difficult to stick with a plot and a concept and an idea and characters for that long, and I salute you. At the same time, you're not a novelist. Sweating over those fifty thousand words until you're confident that at least forty thousand of them are good ones is what makes you a novelist. Good luck.


 4. People are going to be mean to you. Full stop, absolutely, people are going to be mean to you. Some of them will be mean because they like what you're doing, and they want to see it work. Some of them will be mean because they feel like being jerks. Learn to see past the mean and get to the actual meat of what's being said. "I don't like romance" is not the same thing as "This scene makes no sense," and they don't have the same potential to benefit your work.


 5. People are going to be mean to you: that's axiomatic. And sometimes, those people are going to have good and vital things to say. But people who are being mean for the sake of being mean have the potential to do more harm than good, and when you encounter those people, it's okay to walk away. Don't refuse to let anyone tell you that you're flawed. That way lies madness and pretentiousness. But don't stand around to be told that everything you think is fun is a steaming piece of shit, either.