Category Archives: Writing

I Dislike Deleting Words.

But that’s how my day started. Yesterday I wrote some really good stuff, but today I trashed a lot of it.

Why?

Because I decided I was revealing too much too soon. A story has its own timing, and if you reveal things too early or too much at one time, it can be bad for the story (even if you avoid the dreaded infodump).

A writer has to be careful, we have to be sure to control the information the hero needs to finish his quest, not just from the hero but from the reader. Think about it, how satisfying would it be if the writer gave the whole story away in the first couple of chapters?

At the same time, the writer can’t let too long go by without some piece of the puzzle being offered. But that wasn’t my problem today.

In any event, painful as it was to delete my own words, I think the story will be better for it in the end.

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When Characters Introduce Themselves

I just had an interesting experience… a character I didn’t have in the first draft of Librarian came up to Roncen and basically weaved himself into the story. He’s a young thief that will be serving as an apprentice to Roncen. This was a bit of a tough decision for me to make, because as I indicated in the post about how I came up with Roncen (linked above), I said I like playing with (i.e. breaking) stereotypes, and the young thief is kind of a stereotype in fantasy, so in a way I’m bowing to one instead of breaking it.

On the other hand, he’s just come into the story and I’m not really sure how his part of the story is going to unfold yet. I’m hoping I can break away from the usual “young thief” stereotype by making him an apprentice of Roncen, so he’s not the young know-it-all that we see often in other fantasy novels. Or maybe he just thinks he knows it all but will be corrected often.

But I’m getting off topic. I certainly wasn’t expecting another major character to come up and introduce himself, so as I said it was kind of an interesting experience. I’m looking forward to see how he works himself into the story.

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Ya know what’s fun?

When a scene goes off in a completely different direction than what you’d planned, that can be a heck of a lot of fun… at least I think it can.

I just wrote one that had started off as a simple “let’s get the story from point A to point B” scene, but somehow my characters took over and started an in depth conversation that, looking at it now, probably added a lot to the story that wasn’t there before.

The fun thing is, I hadn’t intended to write that at this point. In fact, I hadn’t intended to write it at all, it just wasn’t on my radar. Now that it’s written, though, I can see the need for it, and I’m glad that my characters took the initiative to push me to tell that part of their story.

(Non-writers probably think I’m nuts about now, talking about my characters as if they’re separate people. Most writers are probably nodding their heads, though.)

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First Day Back at Writing

…and I did fairly well, cranking out 2,180 words.

The problem with having an assassin as the main character is that you have to plan the assassinations as completely as he does, and there’s always something you haven’t thought of till the last minute. So I did a lot of backing up and plugging holes today.

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Dumb Mistakes from Supposedly “Professional” Writers

One thing that really bugs me is when I find an easily avoidable mistake from a writer who is supposedly a “pro.: Take, for instance, this flub from NBC Bay Area, speaking about young penguins relocating to their permanent home in the SF Zoo:

All five made it to the promise land and are now settling in to their new digs.

Earth to whatever nameless staffer wrote that… it’s promised land, not promise land. It originally referred to the land of Israel in Biblical times, because it was the land that God had promised to the Israelites. Hence, “promised land.”

Okay, end of rant… from me. But if you’ve seen an example of a writing error from someone who should have known better, drop it in the comments!

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I’m Back!

It’s been a long time, but I’m back to writing again.

I was, honestly, pretty down after realizing that Librarian wasn’t ready for prime time, and wouldn’t be until after an extensive rewrite. However, the time and effort spent writing it wasn’t wasted… it was good practice, and there are several concepts from it I want to borrow for my next, as yet untitled, project.

The new story will be a tale of redemption and forgiveness, along with the requisite magic and saving of the world that you expect from most fantasy novels.

Right now I’m still nailing down the details, I expect to start actually writing it early next week. Of course, I’ll also keep updating here as I do it. 😀

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The Way Plans Change

A lot has happened since my last post.

Still unable to find a job, I spent the better part of a week in Spokane, hitting the temporary agencies there. I’m still waiting to find out if it had any beneficial effects or not.

I also have come to a decision about the story I was working on. One of my pet peeves is books that are too “preachy,” and the story was looking like it was headed in that direction. I thought long and hard, but wasn’t able to come up with a method of saving it, so I’m shelving it in favor of another project which I hope will help me avoid the preachy tone.

My friends are working on editing Librarian, so I hope to have it ready for publication soon.

I do hope 2014 turns out to be a better year than 2013.

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