Here are some of the prime catches I’ve reeled in as I trawl the internets in my virtual dinghy…
The folks at Black Gate Magazine have been posting some brilliant pieces for writers. Michael Jasper, in his “Climbing Aboard the Dragon” series, has presented three useful essays on the work of writing. In “Three Paths to a Story“, he discusses the approach: whether you create a map of your plot, explore map-free with your characters, or a combination of the two, it’s important to get that idea on paper with an approach that works. In “Homework Every Day“, Jasper discusses the need to do your homework when it comes to submissions and how to get inspired by writing for anthologies. In “10 Tips to Better Productivity” he presents some practical steps to take to increase that crucial-yet-ever-elusive “butt-in-seat” time. Next, John R. Fultz takes on the quest for originality in fantasy fiction. What is it and how can you find it? “Its the dancing witch-fire we writers must strive to catch.” Fultz presents an inspired and thoughtful approach to the age-old question.
Speaking of originality, Jonathan Danz takes on the tendency for fantasy writers to use creative spelling to infuse originality in their prose. This can be done well, but new writers should beware the approaching smeerps…
I keep waffling on whether or not I want to join a writing group. Rosemary Clement-Moore reinforces the importance of peer pressure at the Genreality site. Still, my innate introversion and glasswork ego battle against the knowledge that I need the committment and the pressure to perform better.
Finally, award-winning science fiction author David Brin has posted a great video of advice to the new writer on YouTube. This brief talk is chock full of useful bits on how to keep the reader engaged and on soliciting critique.
So, I’ve submitted an entry for the short story contest for FenCon VII (September 2010). I worked really hard and really fast to meet their deadline as I wasn’t aware of it until last week. Nevertheless, the deadline forced me to work on the story every single day for a week. It was a great experience and even if I don’t win the contest I think it taught me a lot about writing. If nothing else, butt-in-seat time is vital.
I’m really quite proud of the story and think it is probably one of my better ones. I took the main character and setting from my experimental “I’m in Love with My Car” story from the Night at the Opera series and put them in a different adventure. Lou is a character that is so easy for me to write and I really like exploring her world. Hopefully the judges will feel the same way.