Thursday, May 26, 2016

USB Philosphy

We've all done it: tried to insert that USB cord into that USB slot of our equipment and found that it is upside down or sideways from connecting.  Fifty percent of the time you get it wrong and have to flip the connector.  FIFTY PERCENT!  Half of the time  you get it wrong.

Writing is like that.  You start out with a good idea and then find that it isn't.  But after investing time and energy into it so far you are damned if you are going to quit. Perhaps you flip the concept, alter the protagonist, change villein to hero, go from medieval fantasy to star-spanning quests, or replace the McGuffin with another thing. Every time you do this you get another set of choices.  Do that enough and you might end up with a finished piece.  It might be good or bad, but it is finished.  

But then, spec writing is always a chancy thing just like inserting the connector properly on the first attempt.

Sorry this is so short but I've a writing seminar to conduct in the morning at Balticon.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016


This year, at Balticon, I will conduct a three hour session on the art, techniques, and missteps of story telling as part of a BSFS experiment in bringing attendees together with "renowned SFF professionals who are highly regarded for their skills and mentoring" in a fantastic series of  writing seminars.  Here is the quote from their web page:
"The emphasis will not be upon line edits and mechanics, but the guts of story itself. The total duration is 3-3.5 hours, where the first hour is a round-robin general discussion, primarily about “problems with your project.”  The second hour includes a catered working lunch that is open to general conversation with the pro, and the last hour-plus is a one-at-a-time Q&A session where each attendee can ask questions specific to their project/concerns.  Those who wish private sessions must wait for the end slots.
"Select a seminar that is addressing what you want to work on. Bring two primary “problems with your fiction” to the seminar. The pro will guide the group through a discussion of those challenges, and you’ll be surprised how many of your fellow group-members come with identical or overlapping challenges. This means there’s no “waiting your turn.” The seminar engages you immediately, both personally and as part of a group discussion. Troubleshooting the challenges is the focus of the conversation which is both led and moderated by the pro. Everyone is helping everyone else succeed, and there’s no direct comparison of writing, so writers at a variety of skill levels will find it useful."
My slot is from 10 am to ~1:15 pm, Friday, Mary 27, 2016, in Parlor 6036.   Other sessions will be held by Michael Swanwick, Charles Gannon, Jody Lynn Nye, Fran Wilde, Jo Walton, Tom Doyle, and Sarah Pinsker.
I will try not to  embarrass myself too much.