Saturday, November 27, 2010, 5:19 pm
Now that my Thanksgiving turkey is reduced to a single plate of leftovers and most of the chocolate pie is gone, I’m spending the rest of this holiday weekend working on the outline for my historical novel (working title: Historical Novel).
Outlines for me are a serious business. I can’t write without one. And it has to be extremely detailed. Writing the outline is how I decide what’s going to happen, but it’s also how I keep track of my pacing, intertwine the subplots with the main plot, and ensure that my characters are growing at an appropriate pace and that said growth is demonstrated by their actions. It’s also how I keep myself motivated to write ― because every time I sit down with my computer, instead of despairing over the monumental task that is WRITING A BOOK OMG, I just look at my outline and it tells me what I’m supposed to write today.
So here’s how I do it. More
Saturday, November 13, 2010, 10:40 pm
So Scholastic has launched this site, You Are What You Read (which is currently, in what I am sure is a total coincidence and has nothing at all to do with any movies that may or may not be releasing next week, showcasing Daniel Radcliffe), where people are supposed to go on and pick five books that shaped their lives.
I would like to do this. But there is no way I can pick the five books that most shaped me as a person. I could maybe pick 25, but narrowing it down further than that would take several days and a lot of navel-gazing, and hey, I have writing of my own to do.
What I can do more easily, though, is pick five books that most shaped me as a writer (although these were also hard to narrow down, for which reason I cheated and created a “bonus” list of five more books below.) So here are my top five, in chronological order: More
Friday, November 5, 2010, 4:24 pm
Or every other writer on the Internet, anyway.
One of the great things about social media, for a writer, is the ability to see into what other people’s writing processes are like. For example, I love reading things like this Q&A with Orson Scott Card about writing in general and science fiction in particular (even though OSC is problematically anti-gay, he has always talked in very interesting ways about writing).
And I love reading blog posts and tweets and forums and the like in which writers discuss their processes. Writing always feels so solitary, but I can’t imagine how much more solitary it must’ve been before the Internet. I guess that’s why all writers used to move to New York or London or what have you as soon as they decided to become writers. Because it allowed them to sit around in dark smoky bars with other writers moaning about how hard it was to decide whether first person or third person best fit their characters, or why their editor hadn’t called them back, or what brand of gin best stimulated their creative consciousness, or whatever it was writers used to talk about in the past. (Perhaps I’ve read too many articles about how all writers used to be alcoholics. Which was probably also an aftereffect of all that solitude.)
Of course, when you’re just starting out as a writer, this constant Internet-driven awareness of other writers’ processes can be a problem as well as a benefit. I used to wonder if there was something wrong with me when I didn’t do things the same way a successful writer did. But now I think I’ve more or less learned what works for me and what doesn’t.
So for the Friday Five (which is one of those memes that I never quite understood so apologies if I’m doing it wrong), here are five writing process things that as far as I can tell everyone does but me: More