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Showing posts from December, 2015

Writer's Rules Revisited #16

I haven't done one of these since March of 2013, and since people keep telling me how useful they've found these over the years, I figure I might as well finish what I started. 

For those new around these parts, a brief explanation is in order. A long time ago (way back in August of 2011) I posted a list of rules and guidelines I'd been collecting in my notebook over the years as a writer. I put together the list on the blog and it was fairly popular. (You can read the whole thing here) But there's only so much that comes across in a simple bullet point list. I wanted to expand on it and we've been doing it a couple at a time ever since. 

I didn't feel like I was saying anything useful that people didn't already know for a long time, and I was reminded that that wasn't exactly the case, so I figured I'd tackle them here and there until it's done or I keep adding to the list.
If you want to catch up on the series:

You can read Part 1 here, Part 2 her…

Star Wars and Writing and stuff...

My regular blogging schedule has been a bit erratic lately. Surely you all know that there was a new Star Wars movie released. That probably has a lot to do with it. I've been distracted by that, and then got hit with a sinus infection, which made things even more challenging for my schedule. But I'm getting back in the swing and the first thing I thought I'd do would be to post an update.

My writing of prose has slowed down considerably. I'm down to only a few hundred words a day, which is lousy of me. I really need to get back in the swing. It's just so hard to get up in the morning when you're sick. Or when I'm sick.

I'll get there, though. I've got some time off for the holiday, but I need to keep pushing myself. I still want to try to get this manuscript done before the end of the year and there's only about 8,000 words left before I get there. It's doable. I just need to work harder.

As for my work that's come out in the last coupl…

Imagining a Better Tomorrow

Ursula K. LeGuin wrote some of my favorite fantasy books, even though I only managed to read them this year. The EarthSea books were absolutely incredible and, although I was late to the game, I became a large fan of Ms. LeGuin's.

And then I saw this video of hers:



She's accepting National Book Foundation's Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters here, but the speech is incredible and it called upon us as writers to imagine worlds with alternatives to capitalism. We live inside of capitalism. "Its power seems inescapable," she says to us and I have a hard time disagreeing with her. "So did," she continues, "the divine right of kings."

And here she's hit upon my favorite thing about writing fiction. That we don't have to be trapped in the world as it is. We can imagine it as we want it to be and inspire others to think about it in this way as well. How many of us weren't inspired into science by Star Trek and its in…

You've finished your novel, now what?

I'm positive there will be a hundred pieces written about what you should do with your manuscript when you're finished with it, but none of them will have been written by me. And so this modest entry to my writing space is my suggestion on what I think you should do with you novel now that you're done with it, but it's your novel. You don't have to listen to me.

The first thing I'm going to tell you might seem difficult and as though it will take a long time, but it's absolutely going to help you more than you realize.

Write another book. 

Yes. That's right. Tear into a brand new manuscript. Something that doesn't even feel like what you've been working on. Don't let yourself go back to that other manuscript until this one is done. And there are a few reasons for this, and it's the method I use personally. Let me explain:

Writing a book is a massive learning experience. By finishing a piece, you've leveled up as a writer and have new s…