I’m not a fan of identity politics. I won’t play that game. When I’m asked to submit work as a ‘woman writer’ I’m more likely to walk away silently. Either I’m a writer, or not. The fact that I’m female has absolutely nothing to do with it, and I refuse to be given a stepstool that metaphorically lifts me up to the level of other, male, writers. No. Which, I imagine, is how some of my friends who are being identified as ‘minorities’ feel about being identified as such coupled with their writing. But I’ve spent enough time hanging out with Sarah Hoyt (who does not consider herself Hispanic, the American government does) and Larry Corriea to know that they have rolled their eyes and made a joke out of it. So it didn’t surprise me when Jason Cordova brought it up, gently mocking himself as the second-best Hispanic author in SFF, that both Sarah and Jason would egg me on to create a list. It’s what I do, after all, I make lists. When I’m not being all womanish, that is. Read more
The Mad Ones have run away. The floor is yours. Just make sure there aren’t too many large holes in it when we get back later today.
Tell us what you want us to blog about. Tell us about the books you’re reading right now. Tell us silly stories or post cat pictures.
Recently my old acquaintance Tenebra came to visit. I came across her sitting by the fish pond.
“How come you always show up when I’m three-quarters done with a first draft?”
“It’s the perfect time to visit you,” she said. “If you listen to me, not only will you stop writing this book, but you’ll have wasted the time you already put in on research, plotting and writing.”
“That doesn’t make me more inclined to listen to you.”
“No? Then why are you sitting by this pool, chatting, instead of going indoors and writing?”
So I ran into a complete “do not want” when I started to write this post, and instead went looking for something appropriate from the much earlier days of this post. And lo and behold, I found an old gem about how readers will forgive most things as long as you give them enough pleasure in the process. By which I mean if you give a satisfying story in some way, all sorts of technical issues will be forgiven because the readers liked enough about it to overlook the problems.
So without further ado, here’s the rest of the piece.
If you’re like me, you get a great idea for a story, do a bit of research, and promptly get so lost in the research that you forget to write the story (I’m still irked over the loss of that novel about Byzantine iconoclasm. Maybe I’ll get it back. Someday).
But that’s only one of the perils of research, and in this post, I’d like to focus on the ways a writer can be tripped up by the research itself, particularly in historical research, since most of my (limited) experience is in that field. Read more
“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit
“Through the shredded black clouds a fire moved like a dying star, falling back to earth —
the earth, that is, of the Discworld —
— but unlike any star had ever done before, it sometimes managed to steer its fall, sometimes rising, sometimes twisting, but inevitably heading down.
Snow flowed briefly on the mountain slopes, when it crackled overhead.
Under it, the land itself started to fall away. The fire was reflected off walls of flue ice as the light dropped into the beginnings of a canyon and thundered now through its twists and turns.” – Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum
First of all, thanks for understanding about the post being late today and for the topic recommendations. I am still waiting on the contractor but it has given me time to do other things — like try to figure out who to go with for our electric supply. Grumble, grumble, stupid companies that punish loyal customers instead of encouraging them to remain loyal. Any way, that’s a post for another blog. So let’s talk pen names.
When I first started getting serious about writing, one of the things I looked at was whether or not to use a pen name. I had a long discussion — actually, a number of discussions — about it with Sarah. At that time, indie publishing was just beginning and the rules of traditional publishing still held sway. There were a number of reasons then to have a pen name, many of them no longer applicable. But one explanation for why you should have a pen name I learned at RWA. To be honest, it is the only reason why you would want not only a pen name but a closed pen name. Read more