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Posts from the ‘WRITING: CRAFT’ Category

‘It sucks’

 

They asked you to critique their novel.

You like them, they’re a friend, and you would like to help.

And how hard can it be?

And then you find out just how hard…

So how do you tell someone ‘It sucked. Don’t quit your day job.’?

That is, if you wish to remain friends? Read more

Nice little fixer-upper

Reno

That’s Australian for renovation, just as a service-station in is a servo, I am Dave-o and Oh is Oh-o. Really. Would I come the raw prawn on you?*

What happens in reno is quite different to what happens in Vegas (or even vagus, for the nervous). It doesn’t stay there for starters. Home reno is major entertainment and aspiration for millions of Australians, which is not surprising as: 1)Our homes are made of ticky-tacky 2)They’re ridiculously expensive, and constitute a far too large a part of our economy, expenses and most dangerously, savings. But that aside, there are major similarities between this and taking that book that you’ve had in your bottom drawer, or have profound dissatisfaction with and working it into something else. Note: I do not say ‘better’. That, like in many a house reno, is not a foregone conclusion. Read more

Swords For The Modern Writer

The thing to know when you go to choose a sword is which miscreants you’ll be using it on. No. No, wait. The first thing to consider when looking for an appropriate sidearm is what you’re going to wear- Stop. No, the very first thing to consider is whether your locality will even allow you to wear a sword in the firs- Strike that. Read more

Plotting around what you know

I’ve reached a point in the current book (#7 in the Applied Topology series, for those who care) where I have to stop, take a deep breath, sit back and… read all day. Or maybe all week.

No, really. I have to. I’m not just making excuses to take off, I swear! (Oy… please, people, don’t let Thalia beat me up! She doesn’t like it when I ask her to quit talking for a few days.)

Thing is that A Child of Magic has a subplot which requires my characters to visit Philadelphia for a day and a half. Um, during the Constitutional Convention. Summer of 1787, that would be. The bits that got them into this fix have already been written, and I’ve already worked out how this assignment leads right into the final confrontation of the main plot. But now it’s time for them (and me) to take a deep breath and plunge into the noise, smells, and mud of the big city. Read more

Write Attitudes

I’ve got a lot of notions, today, but not a whole lot that’s going to coalesce into anything particularly focused. You’ve been warned (I’m so, so sorry). Caer Dave has been in the grips of illness and a distinct change in the weather. Last few days have been glorious, and we’re enjoying the almost-warmth. This has entailed more of Dave-staring-into-space level of writing, rather than Dave-put-words-on-screen writing, and I’m working on flipping the switch from one to the other. The Great Pulp Short Novel Experiment is ongoing, and I’m working hard to bring my mental space into alignment with renewed physical health. Pneumonia sucks. I don’t recommend it. Read more

Collections

Why on God’s Green Earth am I creating a collection of my stories?

Well, you see, I had all these three quarters written stories, all in my Wine of the Gods series, but I’d written and published past them. And my numbering is mixed up enough already thank you. Read more

Second-Order Consequences and stories

What is a second-order consequence? Well, a first-order consequence is the immediate consequence of a decision, usually the desired outcome. The second-order consequences are the ones that are separated by time and space from the first order, and if you’re not thinking things through, are usually “Unintended consequences.” And, to be fair, even if you think things through, it’s impossible to account for how everything interacts – so there are always unintended consequences, though they may be years or decades down the road, and classified as third and fourth-order consequences…

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