Thursday, August 18, 2011

Writing Advice, The Unremembered and Witch Song

Not unlike myself, new writers are all about this.  It encourages, excites and lets us know we're on the right path toward publication. (A.k.a. Am I doing it right?) 
A really not so odd thing about writing is that it's never done the same way twice.  So the advice we get really comes down to different flavors of the pie.  It's still pie, but the filling of choice is up for debate.

So, I've been reading for the first time On Writing by Stephen King.  I'm a little over half way now and I'm finally getting into the meat or mechanics of writing as it works for him.  I'm finding that a lot of it syncs with me.  I'll have to take a pass to some of his views at the moment, but that might just be my inexperience shining through.

What struck me most recently are his comments about ploting.  Which is the planning in advance on how the story will progress.  Man... this has been a source of no end of suffering for me.  It's caused me to stall, to research and even hunt out 'advice' on the subject through a multiplicity of resources.

That said, I found out that he writes pretty much like I ended up doing on all four my manuscripts so far.  (Reguardless of my attempts to do otherwise.)  I find that I end up muscling my way through plot issues and I wonder a bit.  But I can't plan out my plot for the life of me.  It seems to just be a discovery as I go.  I'm litterally feeling my way through the story as it reveals it'self and I then write it down.  Stephen has a situation, puts in interesting characters and lets them work out the conflicts.  Sure I have a few scenes planned out like he does, but that's all flexible.  I think he writes linearly, and I tend to jump around a bit, but I'm hesitant to wonder much before I feel the need to go back and fill in the details.  I digress.

Anyway I'm enjoying my read.  Thank you to everyone who suggested this book.  Thank you to my wife for making it a lovely birthday gift. 

As far as progress goes with the current story, I've been struggling lately.  However I am committed and in the past week I've renewed my progress and I'm back in the 1100+ word count.  I'm hoping to make that 1300 to 1500 daily by the end of next week.

Stephen gets his daily 2000, so I'm comfortable coming in around three quarters what he gets daily.  He did comment that a writer shouldn't take more than 3 months to write a story, as it would be a sign that the characters would grow stale/cold in the authors mind and would probably be a sign that the author isn't actually writing.  I'd have to agree.  My current story reflects this immensely.  I'm excited to write it, finish the first draft and get back to revising either Lightning Child or Speaker of the Winds.

Photo taken by Cathryn Orullian

Some exciting news, Cathryn Orullian took this photo of Peter and I at his book signing at the Jordan Landing Barns and Noble.  It was so very nice of you to send it to me.  You see I was having camera issues with my 8 year old photographer.  Thanks for bailing me out! 
If you haven't yet, please give The Unremembered, by Peter Orullian, a chance.  I'm really enjoying this story.  To me books are all about how they feel, (maybe that's why I'm the worlds slowest reader) and this one feels like Tolkien's The Hobbit did for the first time when I was twelve.  I'm really getting sucked into his voice and the characters.  His world is such a dusty majestic.... well, maybe you'd better just give it a try.  I'd hate for my insufficient prose to turn you off.

Oh, boy... here's a last second update.  You remember Witch Song, by Amber Argyl.  It's coming out in September, but lucky me pre-ordered and good old Barns and Noble is shipping that baby out to me as of yesterday.  I'm expecting it August 23rd.  So many good books... so little time.

Got to go... I should be writing.
Relentless Persistence.

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