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Tag Archives: writing process
So my promise to myself is that the sequel to Beasts of Tabat, Hearts of Tabat, will be DONE by November 14th, which is my birthday, and which I plan to spend with Skyrim and a nice sativa (legal here in the marvelous land of WA) and not one ounce of work throughout the day as a thank you to me for working my butt off the last six weeks and getting this DONE.
The book is scheduled to be released at Emerald City Comicon next year, so you may see why the time pressure has stepped up in intensity. I told myself I’d get it done this year, and I have, along with a whole bunch of stories, not one but two collections, the update of Creating an Online Presence for Writers, a bajillion trips, and opening the Rambo Academy for Wayward Writers, including cool new classes from Rachel Swirsky and Juliette Wade, so I feel darn good about how much I got accomplished this year despite SFWA’s demanding maw chewing up my time on a consistent basis.
I thought, however, it would be useful perhaps to people to see what the last bits of work involve.
Unlike the Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction Stories class, we are not focusing on one of the basics each week, like characters, plot, or world building. Instead, I am trying to let the class drive itself where it can. My hope is that everyone, by the end of class, has not just been critiqued a couple of times, but has a better sense of their writerly process and how to make it more efficient, more confidence in finishing stuff and getting it sent out, and new ways of moving story from idea to finished draft.
Writers should pay attention to our own process. Sometimes we’re reluctant to do so. We worry that like the centipede in the story who stops being able to walk after thinking about exactly how she does it, looking at our own process will damage or kill it. A Schrödinger’s cat: we know we’re doing something, but if we look to prove that, it’ll vanish.
This is not actually true. Looking will, most probably, not kill it. If you are the rare exception that cannot look at their process without damaging it, a brief examination will let you know this without damaging anything too much. Maybe. There are no guarantees in writing advice.
But if you are part of the vast majority that WILL learn from it, what will you gain?
Here is one of the wisest things about writing process ever told me, said by Syne Mitchell during a Clarion West Friday mystery muse visit: “Try lots of things, find out what works for you, and then do that. Lots.” Brilliant. Continue reading
We’re coming up on the end of the Writing Fantasy & Science Fiction class I teach at Bellevue College. Tonight’s the next to last session. In earlier sessions we’ve talked about the writing process, story parts and mechanics, delivering information, characters, description, and worldbuilding. A number of past blog posts have come out of those classes: 5 Things to Do in Your First 3 Paragraphs, Active Verbs, Foreshadowing and Establishing Conflict, Plotting and Re-plotting Stories, Three Strategies for Snaring the Senses, Three Things that End a Story Well, Using Random Tools Like Stumbleupon For Rewriting, and Why Titles Matter. Continue reading
So I’ve finished up the writing of the first draft of a current project, which ended up about 90k words. By first draft, I mean all of the scenes are at least 75% complete, with most of them completely roughed out. The next stage of the process will follow what I did with the previous two books, which worked fine. Because I am a writer, I am fascinated with process. We all constantly wonder if we’re Getting It Right, a state which I can neither confirm nor deny. Hence this post, which anyone is welcome to skip. Continue reading