Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Me, Me. Me

All of us act as the principals in our own little life stories, ever seeking resolution and seldom finding it.  Life, I mean and, for the purposes of this blog - WRITING!

Sitting alone in our darkened rooms or isolated at some coffee shop we dream of fantasy realms or advanced civilizations, the far future, or an imagined alternate now steaming from a very different past.  We fly through clouds of imagination and soar above the mundane even as we wrestle with the dull mechanics of grammar and punctuation, of refining prose to razor sharpness, and turning the ordinary into the fantastic.  The pieces we create through our writing are unique to us; something the Universe  has never before beheld.  Each completed piece  is a shining achievement that we can treasure, at least for a moment before exposing it to the cold world.

That editors and publishers fail to appreciate the bits of genius we present, that they sully our dreams of perfection with petifulmonous quibbles and objections, is a mark of their ignorance.  Don't they realize the I-ness of each piece?  Don't they see that no one else matters, especially those whose skills at the word-smithing game are woefully deficient?  No, no, no.  They do not.

So how are we to deal with the mundane publishing world's ogres, of their refusals to acknowledge the wonderfulness of what we create?  Do we curse the darkness of their souls, inveigh against the debased values they place on the written word, or do we demand that they take note of our existence? The latter usually produces few to little results.

And so we scribble ever onward toward oblivion, unrecognized for the genius within us, our revealed souls torn from our fingers.  It is a tale told by an idiot, signifying nothing and when we are gone so too are all that we dreamt, all that we did, all that we said.  But the words live on.

At least the published ones do.


Sunday, July 5, 2015

Scouting Report from Plotland

Sorry I've been away so long but with the nebula 50th anniversary in closing out SFWA’s books for the year I've been too busy to update you on my continuing saga of exploring Plotland. On the plus side I've managed to get draft 3.5 of the novel completed so I only have to edit the piece two or three more times to find out were all the plot holes appear, correct misspellings, brush up the dialogue (a LOT!), research a few facts, and clean up the flow before I can ship it to some beta readers (any volunteers?)

Doing a much longer piece then my usual short stories has been an experience. I found it hard to concentrate on a single piece for months at a time so it has been tiring, mostly as a result of trying really, really hard NOT to work on the other stories languishing on my to-do pile. As a result 2015 will mark a new low for my usual output of twenty or more stories. On the plus side I managed to sell a bunch of pieces that I wrote in 2014 and see the publication of my make-up novel Distant Seas.

The biggest difficulty in writing this long piece has been trying to keep all of the subplots and characters in their proper places, figuring out who knows what and when they knew it. Giving the characters depth and personalities was more involved then I would normally do for a short story.  Without the help of Scrivener I would have been lost my way time and again. Scrivener made keeping track of scenes, vignettes, and research so much easier.   Perhaps it wouldn't be so bad to take some time away and work on... WHACK!  WHACK!  WHACK!

I'll never learn.