Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from October, 2016

Finding Motivation When You Have None

I don't want to be writing this right now.

I would rather be working on something else.

If it were up to me, I'd be curled up in a blanket on my couch playing video games with my kids.

But I'm work. I'm writing. I have to write. One of the things I have to write on a regular basis is this blog. Most of the time I really love it. Sometimes, trying to think of an idea to write about is as difficult as breathing on the moon. Sometimes, I imagine they feel about the same, too.

So how do I motivate myself to write even when I don't want to?

I'm not quite sure. I know that's not the answer you're looking for. You're looking for me to say something like, "All you need to do is sacrifice a bat during the fall equinox and then pour salt over your left shoulder and you'll be able to get through any writing block you have." But I can't say anything like that because that would be bloody absurd. The only thing I can tell you is to put your bu…

Deciding on the Next Novel

Since I don't write licensed fiction (yet!), I often get asked how I pick my next novel project. I'm currently working on my 12th novel length work and I'm continually finishing one and then moving onto the next. I've been in a pretty constant pattern like this since my second book, which turned out to be Lost at the Con. 

I'm not sure how usual that is. It usually takes me less than a week or too, sometimes as little as a day, for me to choose my next novel project.

I know some writers take months between projects, gestating ideas, and I think that is a completely valid choice, but I need to keep momentum and be working every day or I feel listless. I need to be in the middle of writing  a novel to feel... comfortable? It's a bit like a security blanket for me.

For me to keep that pace, though, there are a lot of things I have to do.

First, I need to constantly be taking input. I read, on average, a book every week. I try to watch at least a few movies every …

Anatomy of an Opening: The End of the Affair

Instead of breaking down a scene from a movie, this time we'll break down the opening of a book. (Previously, I've done scenes from City Lights, Citizen Kane, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.  I've also broken down the opening to Starship Troopers.

Graham Greene's The End of the Affair is absolutely one of my favorite books. The writing is lyrical and story heart-wrenching and beautiful. Greene's style of writing is such that he always has me gripped, whether it's the beginning of the book or the end. And he shows you so much about the character in his opening lines.

So, here are the first two paragraphs from the book:
A story has no beginning or end: arbitrarily one chooses that moment of experience from which to look back or from which, to look ahead. I say 'one chooses' with the inaccurate pride of a professional writer who - when he has been seriously noted at all - has been praised for his technical ability, but d…