Sunday, June 16, 2013

Writing junk for writers

As I've posted before, I'm not really a writing advice kind of guy ... but I felt inspired to share some things in lazy bullet-point format.

* Is your fiction "realistic?"  What does this mean really?  My neighbour mowing the lawn is very believable.  Also boring.  Your characters and their actions should be "realistic" in the context of the story you're writing ... not boring junk just because boring things are easy to believe.  If you want a cyborg crocodile with laser eyes in your story, then do what you need to do to make THAT believable.

* Capitulate early.  We often go into a story thinking it's going to turn out a certain way.  But the story wants to be something else.  Stop beating your head against the wall.  If the story is fighting you, its just a part of your brain that knows better.

* The first law of multiple deadlines.  The closer a deadline for a project, the more you want to work on some OTHER project.  This is because writers are dumbasses and always doing crap like this to themselves.

* Take yourself seriously.

* Get over yourself.

* Don't be afraid.  If you're getting into something bloody or sexy or both, do you find yourself backing off because of your own instinct or because you're afraid of what others will think.  It's important to recognize the difference.

* Imagine what YOU would like to see the characters do or say.  Not an editor or some imagined reader in Little Rock.

* Less is more?  Sure.  But MORE can be more too.  Know when to be big and loud.

* The more the story depends on the "secret thing" that you're holding behind your back out of sight of the readers and the longer you keep it hidden, the more super crazy fantastic it has to be when you finally reveal it.  "It was all a dream!" or "They were really aliens!"  Might be best not to use this gimmick.  It often ends in eye-rolling disappointment.

* When you finally finish that novel, turn up "Tubthumping" as loud as possible and dance around your house.

1 comment:

Chris2.0 said...

Hi Vic,

Cool, thanks for the advice!

I'm writing a story with a "secret thing" in it - hopefully the reveal in #4 will be more "hell-yeah!" than "eye-rolling disappointment"...