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Showing posts from 2011

Everything good has been done

/Begin Rant/

I have been trying to start a short story. The idea behind this particular effort was to get something done in order to practice some craft techniques that I really need to work on. Those particular points are the subject of another post, perhaps, but not important now.

My problem here is that I don't have an original idea for a premise. i.e. The main character is a 'insert whatever the hell I am missing here'  that 'does stuff' and uses 'whatever' to help him accomplish his lofty goals along with friends 'so-and-so' and "this-and-such.'


It seems that every time I finally think of something it sounds like a great idea at first, until I start fleshing it out and I suddenly realize that it has been done before.

Ok.../End Rant/

coffee break is over.....back on my head.

So Much to Learn

I am frustrated. I need to write, I need to read, and I am angry that I can't cannot do both simultaneously. I need to learn more, I need to learn faster. I am very patient with some things, but this is a struggle for me.

My problem is that that I take forever to come up with a course of action. I want to do the right thing. I evaluate and re-evaluate, weigh the pros and cons and then choose. Right, wrong, or indifferent once the choice is made, I have to run with it. I have the course, there is no reason not to get it done.
I have so much to learn. I read some of the writers forums and really like the majority. I was reading one this evening about the copy edit process and the hostilities that some writers feel when dealing with a copy editor. I SO wish I had that problem. That would mean that I was getting published. I'll take it. Problems like that do not seem so bad to me, but it is a matter of perspective.

I cannot imagine the difference in perspective from working so ha…
I have been woefully neglectful in my writing, and my reading; which, from what I can gather is, if not the same thing then at a minimum, first cousins.

I read that sentence after I wrote it and thought to myself, jeez, that sentence sucks! I should break that up better or make it two sentences...maybe I can use a semicolon or something... I then realized that I was writing in stream of consciousness. Hmm. I don't recall ever doing that. I am tired, but damn.

Wow! I was writing in "stream of consciousness" and I didn't realize it till I re-read that sentence and realized a couple of things. The first thing I realized is that I absolutely HATE semicolons.

I read a headline and the first few lines if an article once (that I intended to go back and finish and still do) that suggested that semicolons were useless and certainly not something that one would want to use. The line that intrigued me was "Why would you want to semi-do anything?" I liked that, and I …

...when all of the sudden,

I was sitting talking to my wife about stuff. Our daughter was milling around and she joined in the conversation. Then she padded off and my wife and I were sitting in the living room each doing homework, when all of the sudden I had to drop what I was doing, grab my computer and start typing. I just had the the entire plot for a book flash through my head in an instant and I had to write it down before I lost it completely and forever.

All of it. Granted I still have to do the story arc, and I plan to do the big arc that Jim Butcher mentioned in his LiveJournal. But yeah, the devil is in the details, but it is there. The entire beginnings to to an entire series.

I brought up my note taking app on the computer and started typing. Trying to be a little organized but not wanting to lose something while I edit-while-typing, as sometimes happens to me. There are even bits that I have noted would make for future installments to the series. A couple of installments, actually. It is weird.


David Mamet's Master Class Memo to the Writers of The Unit | Movieline

I went searching and found a goldmine! I am reading Jim Butcher's livejournal. You can find it here. In it he sets out to basically teach N00bs like myself, for all intents and purposes, how to write. It is extremely insightful and well written, I highly recommend it.
Anywho, in the comments, someone mentioned method acting in relation to a style of writing where the author claims not to be in the drivers seat, so to speak, and the characters tell them what to write. In the conversation contained within the comments, there was a link to some writing advice by the wiritng staff Executive Producer of a show that I really liked called "The Unit".
David Mamet wrote a memo to the producers and some of the stuff in there was really thought provoking to me. I will probably write about this more later, but one thing stuck with me. He suggested a writing exercise where you pretend the characters couldn't speak and "write a silent movie." I will have to think about th…

It starts...

So there I was, minding my own business, when all of the sudden I said, "I want to write a novel." Sounds simple enough. I mean, I have read a LOT of books and I like stories. If I put my mind to it, I could come up with a good story, then all I have to do is write it down, right? No.  I am, it seems, a student of all I do. I can't just start doing. I have to study it first, research it throrughly, become knowledgeable about what I am wanting to do. I need to learn how to write. But it is more than that, I need to learn to write gigantic stories. At least gigantic compared to the 10-12 page research papers that I had written in college. I need to learn the how....

So I start my research and find that a lot of writers state that if you want to be successful as a writer, you have to write...a lot. When you are not writing, read, A lot. Ok, I can do that. so far, so good.

I started by reading while considering what I want to write about. I can't just start writing. I have…