October 1st, 2011

BrainUnderRepair

Writing Excuses 6.17: Writing Assistants

Writing Excuses 6.17: Writing Assistants

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2011/09/25/writing-excuses-6-17-writing-assistants/

Key Points: Writing assistants do lots of things. Their purpose is to let the writer focus on writing, while they do everything else. Writers often over-commit and need someone to help them say "No." Writers sometimes need someone to tell them "Stay focused" but it's hard, because those awesome ideas are really exciting. Reading a book for revisions for the umpteenth time really is boring. Research grounds books, even in the fantasy genre.
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[Brandon] All right. Peter. Writing prompt.
[Peter] Writing prompt. So this is a panel about the assistants who are not quite as interesting as the people that they work for. A kind of book that I enjoyed reading is the what I call the first person once removed book. The prototypical story is Sherlock Holmes. The narrator is Watson. But he's not the interesting character. The interesting character is Holmes. A writer who did this very well is Gordon Korman. A lot of his books are hilarious, but the narrator character is not the interesting one, it's their friend who is the interesting one. So, that's the writing prompt. Write a story where your narrator is not really the cool person.
[Brandon] The Dragonslayer's assistant.
[Peter] Yeah.
[Brandon] All right. This has been Writing Excuses. You're out of excuses, now go write.
[Applause]