…and now for something moderately terrifying… but cool.. oh so cool!
A multifaceted, multi-genre mini-autobiography.The challenging part is that these have to be short, matching the theme, and recognisably autobiographical. Feel free to tag a friend.
My Life: As a Tragedy
My Coffee is always cold and the chocolate has usually melted.
My Life: As a Sci-Fi
I now store my memory in the cloud. My meat-brain is only for analysis.
My Life: As a Romance
I met ‘the one’. Never looked back, or around, since then.
My Life: As an Urban Fantasy
There are creatures in the walls. As long as I leave them alone, they ignore me.
My Life: As an Epic Fantasy
I have lived. I have conquered. I wait now, on my mountain, for death.
My Life: Literary Fiction
In Korea I learnt English, in Knosis I felt awe. All across the world, the people I see have more in common than they do in differences.
My Life: Non-Fiction
How to write in snatches at your day job, without being fired.
The easiest way to understand mythology (intended deliberate simplification)
Greek Mythology = Zeus’ fault
Norse Mythology = Loki’s fault
from The 21-Second God, by Keith Honeyborne
This may not be the most biologically accurate piece, but I think it’s important to recognize that the experience of being a non-human organism is probably fundamentally different from that of a human.
An old discussion, but described particularly well.
Personally I love the idea of little Wesly getting disintegrated on a regular basis.
Sights and Sounds
Everyone likes a view, cityscapes, forests and the ocean can all be a source of creativity, but if it’s not an option put up some posters that are going to inspire you to hammer out those words. The same goes for sounds, some people find them inspiring and do their best writing to music, the sounds of nature or the cacophony of the city. For others, sound just gets in the way. Work out what is right for you.
If you write during the day make sure you have lots of natural light. There is nothing better for the creative mind (and mental health) than getting enough natural daylight. If you write at night make sure your light source doesn’t buzz or flicker. Some people get headaches just from the fluorescent lights, others don’t care.
Whether you’re working under natural light or artificial make sure your not being blinded by it. A nice cheat can be to write out things on paper during the day and transfer/edit that to your computer at night. Think of it as a quick and dirty revision process.
If you can’t sit still, are being sat on by pets, or ache, you’re not going to be getting a lot of work done. You don’t necessarily need a desk, a bean-bag and notepad might be right for you, just make sure your body won’t be constantly disturbing your mind.
Avoid them. Lock off facebook and Tumblr (there are apps for that) leave you phone in the other room and uninstall games from your work computer. Make sure you have the option of locking off your space to really get lost in the writing process.
Your reference books and materials should be kept close at hand. You don’t want to have to break your flow by taking the time to search through other rooms for what you need.
There are two schools of thought on this. One is to keep everything nearby. Carrot sticks or other
not so healthy items just an arms length away. Again so you don’t break your flow. The other school of thought is to keep those snacks the hell away from your keyboard/notes. Not only does this avoid the inevitable “hey what happened to the rest of the packet?” moments, but it also means you are regularly getting up to stretch your legs and in doing so get the blood and creative juices flowing. If you’re anything like me you’ll get up and boil the jug three or four times before actually remembering to make the coffee before it gets cold again.
Sleep is a lie, there is only insomnia.
Through coffee, I gain consciousness.
Through consciousness, I gain awareness.
Through awareness, I gain inspiration.
Through inspiration, my writer’s block is broken.
The Caffeine shall free me.
Remember our struggles are the things that truly shape us…
… also, the worst events make for the best stories once the trauma has faded. Can you imagine a story about a truly happy life, no conflict, no drama, no crisis? That would make for the most boring story in history.
Lastly never assume you know what will happen. Roland Barthes once wrote that “all phenomena are illusory”. Then he was hit by a milk truck.
If you’re like me you are dying for the day you can upload your thinking-meat into a more resilient, and less rot prone, container. Of course like me you’re probably aware that dying is exactly what is likely to happen before that is possible. There are a few vocal Transhumaists such as Kurzweil who think such an achievement will be possible in the near-future, but frankly there is nothing to support that beyond blind optimism.
So given the option to upload your consciousness… would you?
Would it matter if this was a destructive process (kill the meat to make the metal)?
Would the new you still be You?
Lastly if the organic you survived the process would you still be the same person, and how long would it be until the two versions of you became distinctly different entities as they reacted to their differing experiences post-upload?
There is a great article on the challenges facing mind uploading over at the NYT, but to summarise “Your mind, in all its complexity, dies with you. And that’s it.”
Reblogged from the HuffPo simply because this is a debate that has followed me my entire life. I’m firmly in the one space camp, but I can see why the two space heretics have yet to be exterminated. About the only times I don’t mind double spacing (as long as I actually can remember to do so) is in academic essays. In essays, you’re already making the margins artificially wider and putting more space between the lines of the work all so the marker has more room to leave comments.
get out for a walk, get the blood flowing to the fatty tissue behind your eyes, and with it, some new ideas. Like most people, my best ideas happen in the shower, or while walking. This is great for me, but bad for my water soaked note-pads. Worse still for the odd house guest, who gets to see a naked white streak as I bolt from the shower to the keyboard because I forgot they were here.
If I set up a treadmill under flowing water, I would be INVINCIBLE! … or possibly electrocuted.
So get out, smell the grass. Enjoy the bite of the wind, talk to the wildlife in a vain attempt to convince it you’re not food. Then if you make it back alive, CREATE!
While this article is about script writing, the basics still apply to novels. In particular, no risk = no emotional stakes.
Go and check out the whole thing on John Rogers blog. Link http://kfmonkey.blogspot.co.nz/2005/12/writing-action-scenes.html
There are so many worlds running around inside my head that I’m not sure there’s enough space left for the real one.
Not a problem until you try to get those worlds down on paper. When you know something so intimately, how do you dumb it down to a level to entice the new explorer? How do you remember those little things that will be so important to a new reader, but you’ve spent so much time with them that they’re now just hidden assumptions?
I have a concern, a worry, a niggling question I can’t answer.
If we do ever contact an intergalactic species, how are we going to pass their Turing test? How do we display that we are sentient, aware in our own right, rather than just biochemical machines programmed to replicate? There isn’t a single human act I can think of that isn’t replicated by creatures we wouldn’t consider intelligent. Maybe that’s why we’ve been left alone, maybe we’re the galactic equivalent of Army Ants.
“Now that’s a particularly nasty species down there, better not land, it might get up in the landing gear.”
I’m tempted to say that music might save us. But if whatever we meet doesn’t use air vibrations as a means of communication, we are so screwed.
Comments more than welcome…
Now there’s a short story, the first meeting with an alien race, and the Muzak being piped in before the conference as a trance like-effect on the delegation. They become addicted, and humans become the aural-drug pushers to the galaxy. Chill to Bach, trip on AC/DC, overdose to Dub-Step.
Speaking of short stories, never forget They’re Made of Meat, by Terry Bisson.