The voices may not be real, but they have some great ideas.
Though in my cases the voices just on the edge of hearing often turn out to be real, someone just turned my music down real low. Not naming names or anything, but there is a special hell reserved for those people.
If there isn’t, I’ll bloody build one when I get there.
Here’s how you get out of those word-count slumps… or so I’ve been told.
Something to think about for the Futurists & Sci-Fi Writers among us. Is there an alternative to countries?
Nation states cause some of our biggest problems, from civil war to climate inaction. Science suggests there are better ways to run a planet
Why dystopia? Because it’s a cop-out.
It’s far harder to predict the changes and tribulations of an advanced society. So why not just assume we broke all our toys and reverted to barbarianism? After all, these stories sell.
Why not? Because we’re selling despair. Because we’re telling a whole new generation that they won’t succeed, so don’t try. Because there is a lot more challenge in predicting the changes in culture (and to a lesser extent technology), and therefore a lot more potential for good storytelling.
I’m not saying Dystopia bad; therefore Utopia good. I’m just wondering what happened to the golden age of sci-fi where anything was possible and the sky was the limit? Surely it’s better to look forward to a better world than to assume we’re going to screw it up and revert to banging each other over the head with crude weapons. And yes Zombie Genre I’m looking at you too!
David Brin puts it nicely over at his blog Contrary Brin. Go have a look.
Why all the re-blogs? Well, partly because I’m lazy, and partly because there is so much good material out there that it doesn’t need another voice adding to the echo chamber. Instead, I think it serves everyone better to just promote the work of those who have already spoken up.
You don’t get better at writing by avoiding reading and writing until you are better at writing.
You don’t need to be master wordsmith each day. A single scene or a nice turn of phrase means you are now that much better at writing in general.
It’s also okay if what you wrote turns out to be drivel. You learn by working out what NOT to do, as well as by working out what TO do.
You will be the only person who knows if your work didn’t turn out how you intended. Only you see the things that are in your head but never made it to the page. No one else will know unless you tell them.
Don’t compare yourself to others. You only get to see their best stuff, while you see ALL of you work. Good or bad. So don’t compare a garbled first draft, written in the wee hours of the morning, with a published work.
Just keep writing. You only fail if you stop.
So just a few short lines before I’m lost to the void.
First, have a look at http://dailysciencefiction.com/hither-and-yon/slipstream/michelle-muenzler/an-act-of-consumption-in-two-parts Michelle Muenzler’s little abomination is an absolute joy to read.
After that little pallet cleanser, I thought I’d just let you know that I’m going to be a little more conservative in the posting for a while. I’ve finally finished mapping my way through the next two books, so have to get down and actually flesh them out. When I surface again there should be a trilogy (at least) ready for release.
It’s going to be fun swimming around in the murk of the unseen world for a while. Down with the undead hosts of parasitic gods, fratricidal half-fey, and lurking puppet masters who may (or may not) be trying to usher in Ragnarok.
So with luck, I’ll return from Dante’s Cafe no less sane than when I left, but a whole lot emptier. Just have to pour the stories out of me and glue them to the page with the written word. Wish me luck!
Are your characters not talking to you?
Is that last book in the trilogy you’ve just gotten into not coming out for another eleven months?
Does your word-processing device of choice just lie there and suck your creativity into a bleak, desolate void devoid of all hope or output?
Is having to deal with actual people in real life, in the real world, getting you down.
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.
…son of a smurf. Just stumbled across this short story over at Daily Science Fiction
Cute huh? Kind of reminds me of
Due to our increasing technology and ecological footprint humanity decided in 2062 to pull back from the regions where primates live and instead focused on orbital and off-planet habitats. A few researchers remained in contact to chart the progress of our distant cousins, even as humanities earthbound population dwindled.
By the time the apes had reached the Iron Age equivalent in development, all they had left of us were half-forgotten myths. Legends told of tall, hairless, visitors who walked among them and shared the secrets of fire and agriculture. Godlike beings who sometimes inspired great building projects, but never stuck around for long.
By the time they themselves reached for the stars, we had moved onwards. Yet they still found traces of the races that came before.Those who had taken their first steps into the dark, and had left behind the cradle that we had called earth. That and the great machine left to welcome each successive race as it progressed from planetside evolution to spreading out amongst the stars.
… and the cycle began anew.
From HERE I wonder if he read the same article? I guess “Great minds think alike” and all that.
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
More Lindsey… less steampunk, more fantasy.
Gotta say I love the dubstep elements.
I should be working, but sometimes the playlist requires a bit of impromptu dancing around the room.
I’ll leave this here and prance away…
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?