Six impossible things

Posts Tagged process

Guesstimating length

A lot of writers I follow blithely spout how this story is going to run 70 thousand words, or 100 or 120, as if they can somehow see the eventual number of pages laid out before them in a crystal ball or something. Me, I have no […]

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Messing Around with Post-Its

As I mentioned last post, I’m three chapters into the WIP with a not-too-urgent but nonetheless looming deadline and have discovered a need for some more development before I continue. There are two sorts of work I need to do: macro-level and micro-level. The macro-level stuff is […]

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Craft, to me, is the skill part of writing, the part you can analyze and learn. It’s techniques, viewpoint, grammar, and style. It includes the mechanics of characterization, dialog, description, and action, as well as highly macro-level things like plot and pacing, worldbuilding, backstory, and characterization. It […]

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Doing it all at once

Before I begin, let me just mention that Points of Departure, the anthology of Liavek stories Pamela Dean and I did, is going live on May 12, and we just got a very nice starred review at the Publisher’s Weekly website. This is a very big […]

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What you are good at

Everybody is good at something. Nobody is good at everything. At least 98% of the writers I know, faced with those two sentences, nod sort of absently at the first one and immediately start working out exactly how the second one applies to them – that is, […]

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Deadlines. Some writers love them, some hate them, and some don’t seem able to finish anything unless they have one. And how many times have you heard someone say (not necessarily about writing) “I do my best work when I have a deadline to meet”? Around a […]

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Terror and dreams

Still with the process questions, starting with “What in the writing process TERRIFIES you (gives you bouts of anxiety)…and how do you push through it? For example, a blank page is both terrifying and exciting at the same time…” I think I spent ten minutes staring at […]

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Resistance and Catastrophes

Thank you all for your input; I’ll try to get around to everyone’s suggestions in the relatively near future. I’m going to start with a post about getting stuck, because the first two suggestions were both aspects of that and I haven’t written about it for a […]

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Listening to NPR the day after Thanksgiving, I heard a story about an archive of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s manuscripts. “They are covered with handwritten corrections!” the archivist enthused, to which the interviewer responded, “The idea that he corrected himself just blows me away.” Which response rather blew […]

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Scrivener and process

Scrivener is currently one of the best-known pieces of writing software out there. People who use it tend to love it and go all evangelical about it (as a number of commenters noted two posts ago). It occurred to me while reading all those comments that talking […]

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