Skip to content

Posts by Dorothy Grant

Breaking Linear

When people ask “Are you a pantser or a plotter”, they often speak of pantsing as though it was a very linear thing – that you start with a beginning and write through to the end, accreting story and meandering around until you somehow end up with a plot in retrospect.

This is not the only way to pants. In fact, following a plot from beginning to end isn’t the only way to do it, either. As Kipling wrote, “There are nine and sixty ways of constructing tribal lays, and every single one is right!” (In the Neolithic Age) Read more

Sekrit Author Knowledge – Minor Characters

Not really secret, given he posted it on Facebook… but on the other hand, Facebook is the prime example of unsearchable kludgely software that is designed to stimulate outrage and make it impossible to easily find or carry on a normal conversation.

So, cheerfully saved here, in order to find it later!

Larry Correia
January 23, 2018
I’m editing House of Assassins now, and I got to thinking about a trick I do. Maybe this will help aspiring writers. Read more

Attention Deficit… Ooh, Shiny!

My darling husband sent me an article (can’t find it again! Drat, where did it go?) on the link between ADHD symptoms and asthma medication. Which I kind of knew – I mean, watch small children right after their “bedtime” breathing treatment leaves them rocketing around the house.

But I hadn’t applied that to my own condition. It’s been a little over a year since I started treating the steadily worsening asthma… and while I knew the writing had gone away as the asthma got worse, I hadn’t thought about why it was so very fitful when it came back. Read more

What were you reading?

We’ve all read those reviews – the ones that leave us scratching our heads and saying “What book did they read? ‘Cause that wasn’t the same one I read.”

Okay, aside from the review of one of Peter’s space operas complaining about the alien invasion of earth being cliched (there are no aliens, and it’s not set on Earth, but on a space ship), usually the reviewers are actually talking about the same story. The mental furniture they use to view the world, and the emotional baggage they bring to the story, is just radically different from ours.

Read more

It’s all over but the shaking.

Yes, the shaking. Back when I was a young pilot in Alaska, so new eggshell was still stuck behind my ears, I got myself into a situation that I just barely had enough skill to get myself out of. (Luck played an important part in that, and the grace of G-d, as well as training.)

After the airplane was no longer trying to become one with the most firma terra, after I’d flown home, after the airplane was parked and tied down (for the elements and the machine will never stop trying to kill you, until the flight is fully finished), I sat down and shook. For almost an hour.

Later, when talking to a mentor who’s been there and done that has worn out the stack of t-shirts, I was rather shamefaced and chagrined at the whole thing – and quite embarrassed at shaking like the last leaf still stuck on a tree in an artic gale ripping through the pass at over a hundred knots. And he said, very gently, “It’s all right to shake, after it’s over. It’s normal. It’s… everybody does that, girl. The key is – after it’s over. Do what you have to do, and then shake and scream and cry and cuss afterwards. Nobody who’s been there is going to look down on you for that.”

So… 2019. Yeah, it’s pretty much all over but the shaking, the after-action review, and the paperwork. Speaking of, 4th quarter taxes are due on Jan 15.

Read more

Why read me when there are new books out?

The new Alternate History Anthology edited by James Young, Trouble in the Wind, has stories by current and MGC members Sarah Hoyt, Brad Torgersen, and Peter Grant… as well as S.M. Stirling, Kevin J Anderson, and David Weber!
Read more

Nine and Sixty Ways of Constructing Tribal Lays

“The other day” I was talking to a person, and when they were complaining about End Of The World for ebooks, I said, “Eh, it can’t be that bad, and we’ll survive it fine. Don’t you remember the KDPapocalyse and the huge shakeup from KU1 to KU2, and the Kobo-pornopocalypse? This, too, will pass.”

They made noises of pure confusion, and I realized… Indie is over 10 years old, and Peter and I have been there since pretty much the beginning. (Don’t ask me about working the Christmas rush inside Amazon when the world suddenly decided it wanted kindles, and e-readers went from a weird niche geek beta-test market to The Hot Christmas Gift. Because you are on the other side of a screen, and can’t hand me brandy enough for that story…) The person I was speaking to hadn’t been indie for 3 years, yet. They didn’t know The History Of Our Tribe.
Read more