Posts Tagged ‘writing process’

October 2015 Writing Progress Report

Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

Every now and then, something happens to remind me that I had said I was going to post regularly to this blog. While I think the number of those currently following the blog is probably in the low single digits, I nonetheless feel a certain obligation to keep my commitment, for no entirely clear reason. And so…

A little over three weeks ago, I got feedback from my online writing group on the prologue and first two chapters of what is now projected to be a five-novel series.

This, in case you were wondering, is serious progress. I mean, seriously. And yeah, the feedback I got (which was excellent, by the way; I have the greatest writing group ever) immediately made me set aside what I had written and start reconceptualizing the plan for my first novel, which I’m sure was not what they had been hoping for. But it’s what I needed, and even (kind of) what I had wanted. And I have, in fact, been working on that reconceptualization, and hope to be ready to resume drafting again relatively soon. “Relatively” being, you know, a relative term. Whatever.

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Writing a Novel

Friday, October 31st, 2014

A member of my writing group recently put out a request for those of us who have written novels to talk about our composition process and experiences. As preparation for that upcoming discussion — recognizing that I’m still discovering what worked and didn’t work in my one successful and other not-yet-successful novel-writing efforts — here are some top-level thoughts.

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Two Hours a Day

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

Spring and early summer were unusually busy for me, workwise. And then the middle of summer was largely taken up with a family vacation, helping my mother move, getting our house ready for my mother-in-law to move in, etc.

All that is mostly settled now, however. And the question now is, how much time can I realistically put into my creative writing? And will that be enough for me to get anywhere?

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New Writing Rookie post

Friday, April 11th, 2014

Hi all,

I’ve just posted a new “Writing Rookie” column (my first in two years!) over at A Motley Vision, talking about things I’ve learned (or not) over the last few years, and my current writing “method.” Rather than cross-post it here as I’ve done in the past, I’m choosing to lazily just put a link here.

I’d love any comments, either here or there. I’d love even more to feel like my novel is magically writing itself, but that doesn’t seem terribly likely…

Progress Report December 2013

Friday, December 13th, 2013

It’s been a while since I posted here. One positive reason is that September, October, and November were all heavy months for me, workwise (good for paying tuition!). There wasn’t much to report in terms of my creative writing. And there always seemed to be other projects demanding what time I could spare (like, say, cooking food for my family). But work has slowed down a little, and a lot of the things I could be working on are more or less “on pause” for now. And I want to spend some time documenting the shifts in my thinking about my creative writing during the last few months.

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First, a quick recap on how I got to where I am. About 12 years ago, around the time I turned 40, I had a sudden sense that it was time to work on creative writing. This took me by surprise, as I had assumed this was one of those paths permanently not taken.

So I worked on several story ideas, including one idea for a large story (or set of stories) told against the canvas of a particular fantasy world. I did some worldbuilding and wrote a few chapters. It didn’t seem to be working, though.

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End-of-June Progress Report

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

Hey! It’s been a while since I posted. And I don’t really feel sorry about that, because my resolve this year was to focus on my actual writing, and to write about my writing only intermittently, as I feel the need. And I’ve mostly managed to do that. So yay, me! Or something like that.

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The Writing Rookie Season 2, #5: Writing in the Plane Style

Monday, March 19th, 2012

Cross-posted at A Motley Vision. For the complete list of columns in this series, click here.

Recently in a discussion about writing and revising over at the AML blog, William Morris (someone I greatly respect and often agree with) talked about being frustrated by his first drafts because “the language seems so mundane.” Which resulted in one of those sinking feelings on my part — you know, like the one you get when the speaker in sacrament meeting talks about how bad things were when they missed their daily family scripture study, just when you were feeling good about reading scriptures together once last week. Or maybe like how you feel — at least, the way I feel — when I turn on the radio to one of those money management programs that keeps talking about how money I should already have saved for my retirement. But that’s another (though not entirely unrelated) topic.

The point is that I don’t really feel like much of a stylist. Sure, I revise — but it’s not to achieve any kind of lyrical prose effects. Really, I have only 2 main goals: to make my writing quick, clear, and easy to read, and achieve some kind of consistency in my characters’ voices. Those are hard enough.

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Plot Synopses

Monday, December 26th, 2011

I should be going off to do errands right now. And I will, really. Promise! But I was just checking my blog (trying to find out when I went to the Dan Wells book signing, to find out if it was before or after last Christmas, which in turn would tell me if I can buy a Dan Wells book as a present for one of my nephews this year or if I already did it last year) — and I was struck by the impulse to write a quick post.

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Book Signings and Other Delights

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

I went to a book signing this past weekend. Sadly, I wasn’t the one signing the books. Instead, it was Dan Wells, the LDS author of the John Wayne Cleaver books (I Am Not a Serial Killer, Mr. Monster, and the just-released I Don’t Want to Kill You), a YA/adult horror/suspense/supernatural series that I ranted about (approvingly) here.

Wells is a former editor of The Leading Edge, BYU’s science fiction and fantasy magazine, where I also got my start in editing back in the mid-1980s (about a decade before Wells, I think). He also tied for the Whitney Award for best first novel in 2009 for I Am Not a Serial Killer — an award for which No Going Back was also eligible, but did not win. I can’t really resent him for it, since I Am Not a Serial Killer is really quite good — and the later books are better.

So I made my way to Uncle Hugo’s, the Twin Cities’ premier independent sf&f bookstore, where Wells was holding forth. I stood around for an hour or so, then went with him and several other fans (including William Morris, a compatriot in the field of Mormon letters and coeditor of the forthcoming Mormons and Monsters anthology), and we went to lunch, where I listened and tried not to talk too much and generally absorbed good writing vibes. And then I went home, while Wells and several of the others made their way to Minicon, an sf&f convention that was being held in Minneapolis Easter weekend and which I had briefly contemplated attending, before deciding otherwise.

It was a good experience. Well, maybe. As a fan, I was glad to go. As a writer, I felt (and feel) deeply ambivalent.

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Spring Break

Saturday, March 19th, 2011

This is another of those no-I’m-not-dead-yet posts, for those who might be wondering…

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