I have a process that I tend to follow book after book. I’m stubborn, and a creature of habit. Having written all four Thieftaker and all three Fearsson books largely by following my regular creative routine, I fully expected that this book would behave and let me write it the same way. But like children, not all books are the same; some listen better than others.
Quick-Tip Tuesday has rolled around again, and I have my usual post up at Magical Words. This week I’m discussing the value of breaking out of our creative routines in order to infuse our work with something fresh and new. You can find the post here. I hope you enjoy it.
And keep writing!
“But,” you say, “what if an editor asks me to make that two month deadline?”
Be honest with her. Tell her that two months won’t work, but you can get it done in three, or three and a half. When it comes down to it, the editor is going to get the book at the same time no matter what. You can only write so fast. Faced with the choice between A) an honest assessment of your writing pace and a book handed in when she expects it, or B) a book promised on an unattainable schedule and then handed in a month late, just about every editor will choose A.
Today’s Quick-Tip Tuesday post is up at the Magical Words blog site. Todays topic: Deadlines! We writers hate them, but meeting deadlines is part of being a professional. My post offers a few tips for setting realistic deadlines and sticking to them. You can read the post here. I hope you find it helpful.
It would be so easy to give up, to set writing aside for a while. Because when we write, by necessity we access emotion, and that’s not a place I particularly want to go right now.
To which my inner voice says, “Too fucking bad.” Emotion informs art, and art is what I do. It hurts a little more at the moment. So what? Given the shit I do to my characters, I really have no right to complain.
Today’s Quick-Tip Tuesday post is up at Magical Words. It’s been a tough fall for many of us, and this is a post about soldiering on, taking stock, moving forward. It was helpful to write, and I hope you find it worth reading. You can find the post here.
Keep writing, friends.
Which brings me to today’s Quick-Tip. It’s a terrible cliché, but clichés arise because on some level they convey an essential truth. As much as I would encourage you to write, to devote yourself to improving your craft and following your ambitions, today I want you to do the opposite. Put away your computer, your writing pad, your pen. Kiss the person you love — not a peck; kiss with passion.
Today’s post on Magical Words — a Quick-Tip post of a different sort — is for my friend Melanie Otto, who was taken from us far too soon.
Read it, share it with someone you love, please take it to heart.
We live in a time of division, of conflict, even of hate. Let’s try something a little different today. For Melanie.
The post is here.
I usually write with a good deal of structure in my process, and so I thrive on relatively unstructured music to inspire my creative process. So, I thought, what if with this project, to which I’ve taken a relatively unstructured approach, I listen to classical music and use that high level of musical structure to impose some order on my writing?
My apologies for this going up so late. I’m on the road and didn’t have access to the internet for much of the day. But today’s Quick-Tip Tuesday post at Magical Words is now up and ready for viewing. It’s about a couple of lessons I learned last week while attending a phenomenal concert. One concerns sharing works-in-progress with audiences. The other focuses on the ways in which the music we listen to as we write can influence our creative process. You can find the post here. I hope you enjoy it.
By the time we hit that 60-70% mark, things look dire for our good guys.
And at that point we often discover that we have no idea how to get from where we are — often a world gone to shit — to the happy ending we’ve intended to write all along. There seems to be this unbridgeable chasm between the story as it exists, and the final product as we’ve envisioned it. Cue panic.
It’s Quick-Tip Tuesday over at Magical Words, and I have a post up on more ways to fix a broken manuscript. As some of you may remember, I tackled this subject a couple of weeks ago, but there are always more ways to get at a problem. So if you’re dealing with problems in your work-in-progress, this newest post might help you out. You can read it here.
It’s Quick-Tip Tuesday, and I’m back at Magical Words with a post about how to establish and meet work goals without setting ourselves up for disappointment and discouragement. You can find the post here.
And the Summer/Fall 2016 Blog Tour rolls into SFF World today, where a new review of Children of Amarid has just been posted. For those who don’t know, Children of Amarid is my first novel, originally published in 1997. It, and the rest of the LonTobyn Chronicle, my first trilogy, won me the Crawford Award and established me both commercially and critically. But it also suffered from many of the flaws one finds in a first novel. So, I have recently reissued the Author’s Edit of the book. The review is of this new version. You can find it here.
So how do we imbue our prose with emotion? Well, we DON’T do it with a sledge hammer. I am not telling you to bludgeon your readers with paragraphs-long explorations of your characters’ emotions. That would be no better than a data dump. Sometimes all we need is a gesture or moment’s expression — the twitch of a lip, a nervous gesture with the hands, the refusal to look someone in the eye. Delving into emotion doesn’t mean eschewing subtlety.
Today’s Quick-Tip Tuesday post is up at Magical Words, and it’s about imbuing our writing with emotion. To my mind, few things are more important for effective story telling. Read more here. Enjoy, and keep writing!
This is still the work of an inexperienced writer. Comparing The Outlanders to the work I’ve done more recently, I still cringe a little at the habits of that younger me. But I also see growth, a writer beginning to master elements of his profession.
And, to my surprise, I see as well things that I need to be reminded of today as I think about where I ought to go next with my career and my craft.
Today’s Quick-Tip Tuesday post at Magical Words again discusses my revisions of my first series, the LonTobyn Chronicle, and what I have learned from that younger version of myself. It’s not just a matter of correcting youthful mistakes; at times, I’m finding that I need to emulate more some of the things I used to do. Sounds interesting, right? Then read the post! You can find it here.
Joshua Palmatier is guest-starring at Magical Words today, with a Quick-Tip Tuesday post on self editing. Check it out here.