Story 3/52: Double Nickels and Dimed

My first foray (in the 52 Story Project, at least) into social science fiction. I do like hard technical sci-fi such as that produced by Iain M Banks or Jerry Pournelle, but writers like Philip K Dick, Samuel R Delaney, and John Brunner are the ones who truly trapped me in the field of Future Perfect Fiction.

Double Nickels and Dimed

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Anne Rice: Writing Advice

Anne Rice Writing AdviceI’ll just add that once I got over being depressed about violating #4 from time to time, I was able to write more frequently. I tell people I write every day, and maybe when I’m drafting a new novel, I do. (I have to, or at least not skip more than a day.) Otherwise, maybe 9 of 10 days, or 19 of 20. Breaks are good once in a while, but before I started taking them, I would work myself to mental exhaustion, collapse for a day or three (sometimes metaphorically, sometimes not), and then struggle with being depressed and disappointed that I skipped a few writing days that I would skip a few more.


Workshop Wednesday: Manuscript Makeover

I’m still plugging away at revising the novella about Agata and her unfortunate misfortunes on a merchant’s wagon train, though despite a horrible headache that’s lasted for going on three days, now, I also have tomorrow’s story up and scheduled. Hopefully, my brain stops stabbing my eyes long enough for me to make sure that is fit to post on time tomorrow morning.

In the spirit of Workshop Wednesday, though, I’m linking to one of my two favourite books about editing, Elizabeth Lyon’s Manuscript Makeover. I’ve ditched most of my editing books (my desk has this, The First Five Pages, and Warriner’s English Grammar and Composition on it) but this one survived the purge. It may not be the be-all-end-all tome of manuscript perfecting, but she spends a good amount of time not just discussing editing (which I define as correcting mistakes) and refining (which is taking something that may be adequate and making it good, or taking something that’s already good but making it good in a way that appeals to you, your readers, and your cat. Highly recommended.

Books and Piracy

Awesome article from Chuck Wendig. The only thing I’ll add is:

1) I cannot afford all the books I wish to read, either. Too bad no one’s invented this neat system where there are books for the taking, for a few weeks at a time. I’m sure if someone did come up with such a thing, they’d be so popular we’d have more of them in this country than McDonald’s restaurants.

That said, he does a good job of refuting a lot of points an anonymous book pirate gives him without coming off like a dickhead about it. (Unlike the pirate… “Now, take a deep breath and re-read 1 & 2.” Come on.)

On Piracy…

James Clear: The Myth of Creative Inspiration

From James Clear’s blog, by way of Karavansara:

  • Maya Angelou rents a local hotel room and goes there to write. She arrives at 6:30 AM, writes until 2 PM, and then goes home to do some editing. She never sleeps at the hotel.
  • Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Chabon writes five nights per week from 10 PM to 3 AM.
  • Haruki Murakami wakes up at 4 AM, writes for five hours, and then goes for a run.

More after the jump. I often follow the same advice he gives (and have told many others to do the same) but he puts it in an excellent fashion.

The Myth of Creative Inspiration

April Fool’s Spoiler Alert

Maybe it’s just me, but I think the idea of Internet April Fool’s jokes has long since jumped the shark, swam around the shark a few times, and finally made friends with the shark so the two could star in an elaborate song-and-dance number. (“I’m a shark” (“he’s a shark”) “I’m a shark” (“he’s a shark”) Every once in a while there’s a good one, like YouTube’s Viral Videos of 1911, or when a project at Google attained sentience and wrote its own MySpace page. But for the most part, they’re annoying and misleading and frustrating, and not really funny for anyone except for the people who worked on them. So, I’m linking to this Spoiler List from Lifehacker.

Oh, and the Star Wars:  Friendship is Magic? I’m next to positive that’s a joke. I’m also not a bronie. But I will say that the Boba Fett Pony is pretty damn cool.

Your 2014 April Fool’s Day Prank Spoiler