August 13th, 2014

Burp

Writing Excuses 9.33: Micro-Casting

Writing Excuses 9.33: Micro-Casting

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2014/08/10/writing-excuses-9-33-microcasting/

Questions and Answers:
Q: Are there biases against non-English writers writing in English who try to get published? And do we have any suggestions for them?
A: As long as the English is competent, no.
Q: What is the most difficult thing Howard experienced when first creating Schlock Mercenary?
A: Teaching myself to draw.
Q: Are you ever too old to try to get published?
A: No. In fact, common to see retirees writing and getting published.
Q: How do you keep a milieu story focused on the environment?
A: Rare to write straight milieu story. Keep the conflicts in the middle focused on getting out of the milieu.
Q: Can I have a piece of Brandon's hair to clone him?
A: No.
Q: If you could go back and rewrite your first published work, how would you change it?
A: I did. I fixed up several of the first novelist mistakes, too fast climax, too many characters, not enough time on two main characters. I would resist the urge to change too much, but I would fix things that are confusing to readers. I want to avoid changing them. If I could, I would fix the foreshadowing of that the characters and story will become.
Q: I'm looking to improve my proofreading and copyediting. Do you have any advice on doing this?
A: Find ways to slow down. Cover up the text so you can only see one line, use a pen to mark each word, read it aloud, read it backwards.
Q: How much time do you typically spend per day writing?
A: Not enough. I need blocks of time, so four hours every four days is better than one hour every day. What you're writing is important, it should be things that improve your writing. It depends on the person, some people are binge writers.
Q: Do you add foreshadowing in the editing stage or are you just that good to put the right subtle hints in as you go? No. Foreshadowing gets tweaked all the way, but it depends on feedback. Sometimes you write something and see what needs to be added later. Often hang a dozen guns on the wall, and then pick the ones to shoot and the ones to leave as red herrings.
Q: How does one continuously improve one's craft as a writer?
A: Try something you've never done before, a genre, a form, a length. Practice the things you are not good at.
Q: Do you have any writing exercises that you do consistently?
A: Describe the place you are. See how a scene would play from another character's point of view. Throw in a randomizer and make yourself follow where chance leads you.
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[Dan] Okay, I've got a cool one that I was actually planning to use for the writing prompt. Do we just want to do that now?
[Brandon] Yeah, do the writing prompt now.
[Dan] Okay. Philip K Dick, one of my very favorite authors, he wrote The Man in the High Castle using the I Ching as a randomizer. Every time he came to a major decision or a major plot turn, he would consult The Book of Changes to decide what would happen next. So I have found this to be so fun as a writing exercise. Introduce a random element, whether it's dice or... I actually own a copy of the I Ching and the sticks and everything, flip a coin, and then write a story using that. Force yourself to follow whatever chance tells you to do.
[Brandon] That would be awesome. Because you brought that I Ching to one of our gaming sessions once and we had so much fun with that.
[Dan] It's a delight to use.
[Brandon] Using that or Tarot or something like this to develop your story. Great idea. Well, this has been Writing Excuses. You're out of excuses, now go write.
[Roff! Mewr.]
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