Posts Tagged ‘writing research’

River Traffic

Thursday, March 31st, 2016

Below is an excerpt from an email I sent to a writing friend last night. It then occurred to me that this might interest my various readers on this blog…

As part of my worldbuilding for my fantasy novel, I’m trying to wrap my mind around river freight traffic in an inland area prior to steam power. (By “inland” I mean not near coastlines, outside the influence of tides and estuaries, etc.)

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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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The General and the Particular

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

There are, speaking broadly (the irony of which will shortly be evident), two different ways of looking at and systematizing the world. The first — favored by theoreticians ranging from Newton to Marx to Freud to Joseph Campbell — involves the attempted deciphering of fundamental underlying codes that explain a broad range of phenomena. The second, in contrast, while it may accept the existence of underlying patterns, focuses on differences: particular instances, local circumstances, and the like.

I admit it. I’m drawn to the general theories. But as I’ve gotten older, I find myself increasingly skeptical about them.

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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…

High School Dances: Not about Pairing Up Anymore

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

As part of my ongoing campaign to research what I’m writing about, I went to a dance at our local high school last night. (I’ve been thinking that it would be entertaining to write about how a budding teenage empath deals with all the emotions he might pick up at a dance.) It was illuminating. And requires me now to rewrite several scenes I had already written, but I suppose that just demonstrates the necessity of the research…

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The Writing Rookie Season 2, #4: Yes, I’m a Stalker — Er, Writer

Monday, November 28th, 2011

This post is cross-posted at A Motley Vision. For the complete list of columns in this series, click here.

A couple of months ago — shortly after my oldest son got back from his mission — I hijacked him for a day to go driving with me in the northeastern suburbs of St. Paul, about 45 minutes from where I live. He, unwary soul, neglected to ask the purpose of our expedition prior to departure. When eventually he did discover the purpose — to check out a neighborhood and high school that I’ve adopted as the model for the set of novels I’m working on at present — much eye-rolling was evidenced. (Note my clever use of the passive voice to clue the reader in to just how clever I am. For, um, using the passive voice. Yeah.)

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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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