Wrong Thoughts During Your First Draft

30 01 2017

You’re working on your first draft and your writing is coming in the usual fits and starts. Here are some thoughts you may have while writing and why they will get in the way.

“Just came up with a great idea! I have to retcon to make it work, so I have to go back and fix that.”

Noooooooo. Stay on target, Gold Leader Star-Wars-Reference. Your goal is to complete your first draft. Revision is two steps down the line.

“I know this part is vague, but no one will notice.”

Don’t worry about this, but yes they will notice. As the writer, if you notice a problem, you are guaranteed the reader will notice the problem. But don’t sweat that, you’ll fix after you finished the first draft.

“What does the inside of the house look like? I need a detailed floorplan before I continue.”

Do not do research while doing your first draft. Repair your staging and timing issues after the first draft is complete.

“I just got great critiques for my first few chapters! I better go back and revise –”

NOOOOOOO. Save your critiques in a folder and keep going.

“The protagonist is there to see things happen. The events will be enough to distract from his inactivity.”

Yeah, wait until you’re done with the draft. Then maybe think another character may actually be your protagonist. Or hand some agency to your protagonist. In your revision after you’ve finished your first draft.

“You know, this would make an interesting blog post.”

Back to writing my first draft.



Principles For Writing Viral Stories

26 01 2017

C. J. Cherryh, “it is perfectly ok to write garbage – as long as you edit brilliantly.”


This article is about writing viral blogs, but its points can be applied to genre fiction, namely:

  1. Convey the genre expectations quickly, even in the first sentence.
  2. Subvert those expectations with unexpected contrasts (glittery vampires? serial killer who lives in dreams?).
  3. Convey a setting the reader can relate to through comparisons (magicians but still teens in school; a world on a turtle’s back, but still has crime and bureaucracy).
  4. Convey through parallels (an alien rabbit is still called “a rabbit”).
  5. Have the story ask an important question (will Frodo save Middle Earth from Evil? How will humanity defeat the aliens?).

Best Writing Blogs From Positivewritr.com

23 01 2017

These are the top 50 best blogs on writing for writers. Source: Best Writing Blogs for Writers Awards 2017

via Best Writing Blogs for Writers Awards 2017 — The Neophyte Writer

Writers! Ten Publishing Trends!

20 01 2017

It’s best to be aware of Trend Two.

I’m just getting into Trend Seven and man it’s tough. But it’s true.

Everyone should keep an eye on Trend Ten, as Trends Two and Seven can help.

Top Ten Trends in Publishing

Write Your Novel Fast. This Book Will Help.

19 01 2017

I am not receiving any payment for this promotion. This book honestly does have great advice on how to increase your wordcount up to the thousands per day.

I like this book for three reasons:

Practical!  Rachael Aaron is a best-selling author giving advice that is easy to implement. Some advice came as a relief to me because it made writing more fun. She writes well and has been committed to writing, which adds to my accepting her advice.

Direct! A LOT of writing books pad the books with repetition, asides, self-aggrandizing stories, and lists. HAAAAAAAATE! Then those authors have the nerve to be nobodies like me thinking they have useful advice! GALLING! Rachael has a direct, engaging voice like a nerdy good friend who doesn’t want to waste time.

Realistic! Though her own claims seem to stretch credibility, Rachael describes her own high numbers as an outlier. She encourages you to accept your own pace and capabilities. She emphasizes that the more you like the writing experience, the more rewarding it is no matter how many words are produced. Ain’t that nice?




Elves Are Vulcan Pimps, Bee-yotch!

18 01 2017


This shall be my new cosplay.

Part of creating a distinctive take on an existing genre includes interpretation of elements based on accepted values. Write something already done, make it new but as close to old as possible: this is called “The Glittery Vampire Gambit.”

Blah blah blah. In all of my very limited genre reading, Elves always act like nothing more than immortal magic humans. Stereotypical Italians are profoundly different from stereotypical Japanese and they’re human. How can we accept Tolkein’s Elves as a different race when they just act like pale Ren-Faire Brits?

My reading of folklore says that Elves ain’t got souls. What does this mean? The meaning is huge.

To me, a soul is what allows a person to relate through aesthetics and emotions. You need a soul to be affected by a song or by a crying baby. Does that make the soulless Elf a sociopath? Too easy! So no!

The Elf has values. They are Elvish values.

We want to keep some sort of Elvish society after all, some sort of Kingdom or Autosyncratic Commune. They have craftworks, art, and history.

They understand creation of value, however emotionally off-kilter they may be to Humans.

What would an Elven Cloak really do?

Lacking an emotional framework to appreciate beauty, the Elf would have to go elsewhere for invigoration: immediate sensation. They would be intellectual sensualists. Sort of Vulcan Pimps.

The Elven Cloak would be like wrapping yourself in a ever-shifting environment. Warm and cozy one day. Cool and silken on another. Magical craft would give the textures an infinite variety.

Among the Elves, the cloak would shimmer, ripple with fractals and mandlebrots, reveal interlocking patterns of leaves and other items from nature. The cloak would have pockets for everything. Be camoflauge against the limited Human visual capability. The cloak may be semi-sentient, able to respond to its wearer and environment.

What about other art?

Elvish Epic Poetry would be a straight read of a historic event, the language precise down to invoices. An EEP  would also be follow precise meter requirements, reference previous works, include obligatory codes concealing subtexts, and comprise a completed suduku.

I’ve always had an issue with Elvish behavior a la “Lord of the Rings.” Granted, being long-lived they wouldn’t get excited about a whole hell of a lot. Elves would also be proficient at their weapons and whatever, sure. A search for innovation in a material world would run short eventually, so boredom, okay.

Elvish music would be the most complex Math Prog Ren Faire tunes imaginable. Mozart times Robert Fripp times Kraftwork played a two-thousand string harp.

But to me, an eternity of experience would provide an endless fount of free association. They would have to work to keep themselves from being bored and they would develop the wit needed to do the job. Would conversation with an Elf be filled with asides, aphorisms, references, quips? An Elf who had lived through Western Civilization would alternate between daydreaming and reciting advertising placards from the 1700s.

Elves may look at Humans not as individuals but as a stream of recurring behaviors. An Elf may have a grudge against generations of a family, but I think they’d just as easily see connections Humans could not perceive, and carry grudges against Humans who favor paprica, or born Sagitarias, or wear their hair high.

So, this Elf I’m designing for my story would have a conversation seemingly full of whimsy, but when examined, the whimsy would have unseen relation with the serious matters at hand. They would be discriminating in tastes, have strange reactions to normal objects, want to relish surprises, be willing to try any new experience, and have ornate explanations for anything they do.

Vulcan Pimps? Yeah, Vulcan Pimps bee-yotch!



Michael Moorcock: How to Write a Novel in 3 Days

17 01 2017

Ever fancied writing a novel, but don’t have oodles of spare time to set aside for such a thing? Michael Moorcock, a hugely influential and prolific writer, has the solution. Those of you who…

Source: Michael Moorcock: How to Write a Novel in 3 Days

Horror Writers: The Next Great Horror Writer Contest! Why Not Enter?

15 01 2017

Are you a horror writer who dreams of seeing their work in print? Are you willing to perform challenges to win a book contract? Do you have at least one horror novel to pitch? Then you might be the… NEXT GREAT HORROR WRITER! Enter to compete in the HorrorAddicts.net horror writing contest! This contest is […]

via The NEXT GREAT HORROR WRITER Contest – Enter Now! — horroraddicts.net

Winchester House, Man!

14 01 2017

Okay, Okay, how many times have we seen this destination and thought, blah whatever? Yes, I know. So, a little more than a decade ago, when I was still young I went to the mansion. I boarded a flight to California and stayed there for a week. I visited a lot of fun places but […]

via Vile Vacation Idea: Winchester Mystery House — horroraddicts.net

Writers: Austerity Message From Scarfolk

13 01 2017


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