My own blog has fallen by the wayside for the moment, it seems. In my defence, I am hard at work writing my new novel, teaching and doing blogs for other people. I thought it would be useful, therefore, to give you links to some of the work I’ve been doing for Adventures in SciFi Publishing and Amazing Stories Magazine. I was especially pleased that my post, Clinging to the Wreckage: How to Save Science Fiction, got more feedback than any in the podcast and website’s history.
Here are some recent postings, which I hope you will find interesting:
This River Awakens by Steven Erikson. The master fantasist’s first novel, which is not fantasy at all.
Anno Dracula: Johnny Alucard by Kim Newman. A very smart vampire tale.
The Art of the Big ‘O‘. Yeah, yeah, I know what it sounds like, but it’s actually an art book.
Clinging to the Wreckage: How to Save Science Fiction Pitch in to the debate – let’s see if we can’t get the feedback up to 100.
A Sentimental (Science Fiction) Education Flaubert would be proud – not!
My wife, a very talented and creative woman, has finally taken the plunge and started blogging about her own artistic endeavours. Carole works in three dimensions: fabric, paper, jewellery and so on. In her blog she writes about her projects, but also about the process.
I particularly liked her posting about De-Cluttering the Brain (God knows, I need the advice, but I’m sure it’s something we can all learn from). If you’re interested in arts and crafts, I hope you will drop by her blog, and support it with “likes”, linking, sharing…you know, all that good social networking stuff.
Write with the heart, edit with the head
“A journey of a thousand miles starts with one step.” – Ancient proverb.
Some people write endless notes before they start on their novel. Some write notes, then more notes, and never get started. Or they get an idea. Or several ideas. And never get started.
What I say this: just start writing. Don’t worry about a detailed synopsis, or voluminous character notes, or world building. Just write. Write with your heart. With your guts. Don’t let anyone tell you what to do. Be a rebel.
Once you’ve done the first draft, you can then start editing. With your head (as well as your heart of course).
The first in a series of writing tips that I have gleaned over the years. Hope some of you will find them useful. I’d love comments, too, if you want to improve on them, or want to send me some constructive disagreement.
Number 1: Write like you mean it
I have observed, over the years that some published and unpublished writers work hard to create stories purely for effect. To shock. Or to fit into a marketplace. For some people that approach may work. But readers aren’t stupid. They can spot a fake immediately. Trying to be clever is a transparent tactic, and particularly painful if you don’t have the skill to pull it off, to make is seem as though you are in earnest.
Honesty needn’t be the exclusive preserve of so-called “serious” literature. I feel it’s equally important to write like you mean it in genre fiction as it is in any other area of literary endeavour.
So, I recommend that instead of faking it, you try to feel it.
What do you think of this? Can you give examples of fakes, and contrast with good examples of the real deal?