Over the years, many authors have told me how to write…well, via the internet. These lists usually start with simple words that create headaches and require a brief explanation Write. Easy enough. You have a story in you, the only way to write that story is to WRITE THE STORY.
Let’s look at my two favorite author’s lists, shortened to fit the space:
|Neil Gaiman||Robert Heinlein|
|1||Write.||You must write.|
|2||Put one word after another.||Finish what you start.|
|3||Finish your writing.||Refrain from Rewriting, except to Editorial Oder.|
|4||Put it aside. Read later.||Put your story on the Market.|
|5||People who say something’s wrong are right.||Keep it on the Market until it has sold.|
|7||Laugh at your own jokes.|
|8||If you do it with enough assurance and confidence , you’re allowed to do whatever you like.|
Do you see the similarities?
Write : Finish writing : Edit : Do it with assurance / Put your story on the market.
Robert J. Sawyer adds “Start Working on Something Else” To Heinlein’s list. This is a really good point. I thought I’d go crazy writing Olivia as she changed and grew over the course of Olivia’s Realm, but writing a few short stories “got the sillies” out and let me see the books as fun instead of the editing slog I felt they’d become.
Here’s a fantastic article from Writers of the Future . I particularly like the “don’t be that guy” review critique. Really, don’t be that guy.
I’m also going to add, then change up one rule I learned from experience-only to learn that Felicia Day subscribes to it as well: Something along the lines of “It takes a lot of Doritos to write.” Doritos aren’t my snack food of choice, but yeah, I get that. To this end, I’ve dedicated an hour a day to working out. Sounds crazy, but there are times that I just need to remember how much better I feel when I work out. It’s like how I feel when I’m in the writing zone, and it keeps me healthy to write. And I can catch up on TV shows that I tell myself I don’t have time to just sit down and watch. Because really, who has time?
I’m pulling a little from column A and a little from column B right now. I finish a story and get tied up in attempting to publish, only to discover the other stories in my head are languishing. So here’s the haps:
I’m working on a fantasy work that has nothing to do with anything on the Projects Page, but has everything to do with the lists above. I’m writing my daughter’s bedtime story. I’ve been telling it slowly, each night for the last week, and it seems to have enough merit to write the thing down. Hopefully, someone else will see merit in it as well. It involves a griffon, a crow and a castle. I’ll give you the heads up when it’s out there. This story feels like it will come out around 9000 words, but there’s a side-part of this projects…a bit of fun with technology that might change things. I’m excited and will keep you updated.
I’ve written a short story, 2500 words, that is a little steampunk, but mostly dark. I’m sending it to magazines once the work is edited. I’ve been told it’s subtle.
What about the rest of it? The prequel sci-fi is going to be a long-haul project. I need to spend a lot more time plotting Asteroid Miner, prequel to Rock Hopper, because the story is involved. That means Super Happy Write Time and Dedicated Research Time. (These are new categories I’m adding to make figuring out what I’m really working on when easier to find). The scifi is still there, but shorter projects would not get done if I turned my all-obsessive mind on that project today.
Anything else? Well, There’s a short story of a Guy who falls for a girl that’s not as short as I thought it would be. I’m going to have to re-evaluate it. But it’s there. Guy falling for girl. Remember that plot, ‘cuz it’s totally original.
What’s up with Olivia? There’s still editing happening, but I’m gaining perspective before making huge changes. See Mr. Gaiman’s rules above. I’ve been writing Olivia for a while and it’s time to step away so I can look with fresh eyes another day.
So that’s what’s in my head as I warm up to writing this Griffon Story today…I started an Ask page, if you want to send in questions either here or there, do it! Heykariann’s the name.
Until then, grey skies bring you nourishment. Be well.