Six impossible things

Posts Tagged process

What drives the story

“What drives your story, plot or characters?” There are a bunch of problems with this question. First off, what drives the story isn’t an either-or dichotomy; it’s a continuum that runs from the total-action-with-cardboard-characters tale at one end to the nothing-but-character-introspection story at the other end, with […]

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Speed Intervals

Last week, I ran across a writing-advice book that focused firmly on productivity, and promised to teach you how to write thousands of words per hour. The author’s method for achieving this miracle rested on two fundamental ideas. The first was taking the writing process apart so […]

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The End of the Plot

For a lot of writers, endings are the hardest part of plotting. Either they know where they want the story to end up, but not how to get there, or they know a lot of things about the story, but can’t seem to work out what the […]

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Brainstorming blockages

“The best ideas don’t need to be sought out at all; you just have to train yourself not to swerve out of the way when they jump out in front of you.” – Jon Forss Brainstorming is a mental activity, so it is unsurprising that most of […]

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Patterns

As many readers of this blog know, I am a knitter, and have been for years. When I first learned to knit, I wanted strict directions for anything more complicated than a rib-stitched scarf: a pattern that calls for this yarn and that needle size. I focused […]

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Learning to see

One of the experiences that is common to most long-time readers is that of running across a book that they loved when they first read it (usually ten or more years previously), settling down for an enjoyable re-read, and realizing that the book is horrible. It’s not […]

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Three things

One of the persistent questions writers get is “Where do you find the time?” This ignores two basic things: first, nobody finds or saves time, really. We all have 24 hours a day, which arrives one nanosecond at a time at the same pace (though how we […]

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Questions, questions

One of the ways writers make progress in their work is by answering questions: Who murdered the butler? Why did the rabbit stew explode? Where did George get those kneebles, and what is he planning to do with them? But in order to answer a question, one […]

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From setting to story

First, some housekeeping. December 23 is the last day to register for my online worldbuilding workshop at Odyssey, if you are interested. I will be taking next week off for the holidays, so no more blog posts until the new year. Now the question: I’m having a […]

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Getting Back Into It

I just spent two weeks “on vacation” in Orlando, FL (which is a long story, full of disasters and near-disasters, but which ended up being fun and relaxing in spite of everything), and now I have to get back into a work rhythm that I’ve been totally […]

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