Harry Harrison at Worldcon 2005 in Glasgow, August 2005. Picture taken by Szymon Sokół. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Robert Silverberg at Worldcon 2005 in Glasgow, August 2005. Picture taken by Szymon Sokół. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I curate a Tumblr of writing articles here. One piece that I’ve been hearing for days:
“…when a writer named Julian Tepper waited on Roth at a Manhattan deli, and, with pride and fear, gave him a copy of his first novel.
(Note, please: Tepper has published a novel with a legit publisher, and he is waiting tables in a deli. I believe that’s one point to Mr. Roth.)
As Tepper later wrote in the online Paris Review Daily, Roth congratulated him, thanked him for the book, and then offered this advice: “I would quit while you’re ahead. Really. It’s an awful field. Just torture. Awful. You write and you write, and you have to throw almost all of it away because it’s not any good. I would say just stop now. You don’t want to do this to yourself.” A few weeks later, Roth announced he would write no more.”
Now, maybe I’m young in the field, but if I ever become this cynical please put me out of my misery.
On closer thought, this isn’t an age thing. Robert Silverberg still writes (he’s in his 70s), the late Harry Harrison and Philip Jose Farmer were both in their 80s and still wrote; only declining health made them stop.
We all write because we enjoy it. It’s not mining coal or bungee jumping.
- Is Writing Torture? (newyorker.com)
- C is for Curmudgeon (claudiajustsaying.com)
- Writers Could Have It Worse (dish.andrewsullivan.com)
Lucien Soulban: I used to game with him, before 1996.
He began writing for RPGs and still does. He won several awards for it.
He’s also written several novels, short stories for anthologies and has a Webcomic that he writes too. He also headed the writing for the Far Cry 3 videogame.
As you see, what a writer writes doesn’t pigeon hole them into just one style of it.
I have been a fiction writer since the start of high school. Whenever we learned a new verb tense or series of words in English class and had a writing assignment to put what we learned into use I would put them into a story that I ultimately never completed.
(Actually, friends remember me as very imaginative in elementary too, but that’s not relevant to the point here.)
I have been trying to get published in prose for quite some time and have collected a pile of rejection slips. I’m not complaining; each rejection is just a step closer to an acceptance.Anyway, I’ll be publishing on the Kindle (and Smashwords) in 2013, so the decision will be my own.
While I’m still trying to get into the fiction scene, I’ve had much succexss in non-fiction. I’ve written many pieces for the newsletter at work for many years now. Most of my 20+ years in APAs and in my own zine (now part of the fabric of Canada due to my Aurora Award win) I’ve written interviews and reviews, as well as an article for my deceased friend Emru Townsend’s fps magazine.
Several years ago some belittled my accomplishments, saying that they weren’t the same as fiction (a different genre doesn’t mean that different rules apply). I began to doubt myself, but don’t anymore.
As I said I haven’t given up on fiction. Instead, I also embrace my other writing styles.
I began to work on my other writing projects. Hopefully I’ll get some of them done over the holidays.
Hunters’ Inc. I’ve now made into a project in Scrivener. Since the character statistics are all that I need to change for each game system that we’re using, I’ve split the book into separate chapters.
Scrivener (software) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I’m also seeing if I get benefits from a productivity software tool: I’m trying Todoist .So far Getting Thing Done didn’t; I hope this will instead.
- NaNoWriMo Wash Up (limebirdwriters.co.uk)
- reflections on NaNoWriMo (ravenspeak.wordpress.com)
- NaNoWriMo’s Bitter-Sweet End (lettersandfeathers.wordpress.com)
It’s nearly a week since NaNoWriMo finished, but I’ve had my rest from it; now I have other things to work on…
Now I have the stats to write for 3 versions of Hunters’ Inc. Fortunately I already have the text written. Now comes 3 different ruleset write-ups for the characters.
Page view statistics for WikiProject Video games in Wikipedia:WikiProject Video games/Traffic statistics. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
First off: my apologies. Save for my progress bar for my novel, I didn’t really update this blog all November.
I was hard at work on my novel, but not hard enough. I never made my daily word quota, my most productive day 1400 words. My final word count: 23923. Almost — but not quite — halfway.
That’s a personal victory. Last year due to exhaustion from work I didn’t even write 19 K. New director for my work program and I topped it.
Here’s a little ‘secret’ about NaNo: getting to the finish line is great, but even if I had just written 1 word, I would already have won. The number of people who have even begun a novel before is minimal.
English: Kick starter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This one has 4 days to go and still needs to raise a lot of funds to succeed. If you haven’t yet, please support it – and if you already have increase your pledge.
A big reason why I didn’t update this blog in nearly a week was due to my preparations for NaNoWriMo — specifically work on my novel outline.
It was going slow at first until I changed my approach. I’m now just naming the scenes instead of writing notes on them. As a result I now have 44 scenes listed.
To achieve 50 thousand words though I’ll either have to come up with more scenes on the fly or simply write a lot of words for the ones I already have.
I think that I’ll have to change my update schedule for this blog. A daily update isn’t easy to maintain… not if I want every post to be a quality one. I’ll announce my new posting schedule very soon.
I have some updates to share, both about here and my author Fan page on Facebook:
- I’ve added a tab for a newsletter. I haven’t yet made it work though. I may have to create one in my autoresponder instead. Also: I created a Page for it here, so I may use that instead.
- I don’t yet know if it works, but I attempted to add a NaNoWriMo widget to the blog sidebar. I can use it as extra pressure to complete my novel.
Update-notification-icon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Yesterday (October 1st) I signed up for what will be my tenth – and possibly last – NaNoWriMo, the National Novel Writing Month.
My first 4 times I succeeded the challenge (2002 – 2006). From 2007 on I didn’t. Those first 2 were due to the deaths of loved ones demoralizing me. The other 3 were for other reasons; I won’t list them though, as I don’t want to make excuses.
Some would call me a masochist for attempting it again, but I wanted to end on an even number.
Whether I succeed or not, I’m not giving up on writing! I have many other projects to fill my time. You’ll hear about them here.
I asked that question on my Facebook fan page several mkonths ago. Both are elements required for good fiction; I was just curious which one other writers preferred.
On closer study – this will come as no surprise to people who know me – plot is the more essential of the two.
Characters are definitely important – distinctive, memorable ones. Stock, cardboard ones just lie there, are easily forgotten and usually contribute to a story or novel not even being picked.
Plot is needed even more. It drives a story from point A to point B… without one a story just wanders aimlessly. A story can begin from memorable characters; as soon as they do something (anything) those actions become plot.
As such the two are intertwined.