I have never read anything by Dyer, but that may change because this is one of the best “Ten Rules” essays I’ve read.
2. Don’t write in public places. In the early 1990s I went to live in Paris. The usual writerly reasons: back then, if you were caught writing in a pub in England, you could get your head kicked in, whereas in Paris, dans les cafés … Since then I’ve developed an aversion to writing in public. I now think it should be done only in private, like any other lavatorial activity.
I also especially like 4, 6, 8, 9, 10…oh hell, it’s a good list. No. 6, Using regrets for fuel. Pretty much my motto: It’s all material.
Posted in writing
Took a short trip to Madison with fellow writer Jen Stevenson. Talked over plot problems with current wips. Hiked up and down State Street. Ate really good Japanese. Enjoyed glorious weather. Walked the trail along Lake Mendota and discussed crow lore. A restorative 24 hours.
We also fed baby ducks.
Nothing better than baby ducks.
In a file room, inventorying documents.
You know your mind is not 100% on-task when you pause to consider how you would get out of the file room if the Bad Guys ™ locked you in. Door knob is actually a handle equipped with a combo lock, but it is on the outside and handle could be jammed.
But. Hinges are on the inside, and 3 of 4 have already partially popped due to use. I have a pair of heavy-duty scissors to use as a pry. The room is equipped with sprinklers, so if I had matches/a lighter in my purse, I could set those off, thus notifying Security.
The rooms are modular–movable walls, so I could also possibly knock out panels if desperate enough.
Glad that’s settled.
Posted in writing
…someone else’s words, namely Stephen King’s 20 quotes on writing.
I will add that I have used a thesaurus while writing and I haven’t killed all my darlings. I have learned the hard way that not all characters’ backstories are interesting. A harder lesson is that, while they may be interesting, if they detract from the story you’re trying to tell by derailing the main plot or swamping your protag, they have to go. Just because you have been distracted from your protag’s story does not mean your protag’s story isn’t interesting. It may just mean that you rambled too deep into the story weeds and lost your way. Story weeds are very easy to get lost in. They flower and grow quickly and seem very strong, but in the end, like real weeds, they push out everything else and make the yard a mess. And I think I will place a period at the end of this before weeds.
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Been here since yesterday. A long weekend writers retreat with a few other, well, writers. Writing exercises, brainstorming, business talk. More on the exercises in a few days, when I am home and have digested the results. It’s been an interesting process so far, though.
We are staying in a place with kitchenettes in the rooms, so we bought groceries and are doing most of our own cooking. I thought I would miss eating out, but I am finding I don’t. Except we did have high tea at the Drake today because that is one of the things one does when one is in Chicago and has the chance.
The weather has finally, finally been lovely. Coolish because we are near the lake, but sunny and dry. It’s even supposed to warm up as the weekend continues. The long-awaited spring one hears about in song and fable.
I haven’t posted any memes or quizzes in a while. They seem to have lessened in popularity as LJ traffic has slowed, but every so often something pops up that looks interesting.
Tell me about a story I haven’t written, and I’ll give you one sentence from that story.
(h/t to Kate Elliott over at LiveJournal)
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Blogging. Writing, fiction or non-fiction. Novels. Shorts. Flash.
Spot-on, this. Especially about reading critiques and comments.
Made up a playlist of soundtracks and ambient/electronica to write by. SHERLOCK is currently playing. HALF-BLOOD PRINCE is in there somewhere. What an odd film. I disliked it when I first saw it because I didn’t see that it advanced the story despite some of the things that happened, but I will admit that it has grown on me. It’s not a cohesive whole, particularly–for me, it’s a movie of moments. Dumbledore and Harry standing on the rock in the middle of storm seas. Ginny and Harry’s first kiss. The scene where Hermione realizes that Harry did NOT put the Liquid Luck in Ron’s drink.
The soundtrack hits me the same way. I’ve read reviews describing it as a pause, an interlude, and I think that’s true. But that’s what I like about it. Like the film it scores, it’s an array of quiet moments. Hermione’s bird charm. Draco and the vanishing cabinet. Ginny and Harry in the Room of Requirement. I love those little pieces–they’ve stayed with me far longer than any of the pieces from the more momentous scores.
The list also contains Air, Delerium, Brian Eno. Soundtracks for The Social Network and Dr Who S5. Good choices for a windy Sunday afternoon on the cusp of winter.
My agent, Jenn Jackson, lives in the Northeast. That means that for the last few days, she has entertained a visitor named Sandy.
She lost power for a time, but now has it back. Her family, friends, and coworkers at DMLA made it through the onslaught. In appreciation for that and more…
…I’m going to auction a critique of a partial manuscript of a novel here on my blog. A partial manuscript will consist of up to 50 pages in standard manuscript format (approximately 12,500 words). In order to maximize benefit for the bidder, I’m going to limit this to the kinds of projects I represent, which includes both adult and YA fiction (not MG). (See my guidelines for more information.)
Here’s how to bid: Check the current high bid in the comments below and place a higher bid by leaving your name and bid amount in a new comment. At the end, I’ll notify the winner, and they should make an online donation in the amount of their bid to the American Red Cross for Disaster Relief. I’ll ask the winner to forward me a copy of their receipt for the donation and then we’ll arrange for delivery of the partial and discuss a timeline for my response.
Link is here. If you have an manuscript in the right genre (see above), this is the sort of offer you don’t see every day.
Auction runs until Monday, November 5th, 5pm Eastern Time.
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Articles like this give me hope that my best writing years may not be behind me.
Prevailing wisdom about the role creativity plays in aging is that it can help slow down the process of mental decline, memory loss, and brain-related health issues such as Alzheimer’s and Dementia. But there is now a growing body of evidence that the aging brain may be more creative and capable of innovation than younger brains.
Maybe it’s premature of me to be thinking about this now. I am 54, which is supposedly the new 41-and-a-half or whatever the Age of the Moment is at the moment. But I got into this game so much later than other writers I know that I still feel like a newb at times. I’M STILL A KID, DAMMIT. Except that I’m not. I’ve crossed the border into the land of interesting medical tests, creaky knees, and AARP. I’ve heard that writing productivity can slow starting at age 60, and the gulf between 54 and 60 is not quite as wide as I would like it to be. I’m a slow enough writer as it is–I don’t want to get even slower. Worse yet, I don’t want to lose the ability to, well, make shit up. I want the idea furnace to continue to burn hot.
My mom lived to 87. I would love to still be writing at 87. Even if I have to tell the voices in my head to speak up.
(h/t to The Passive Guy)