This is how we do it… [sing]

Sol said (in comments): “How do you do it?
Well, Zelazny’s method works very well for some: every time you flip over to the screen where you’re writing, you have to promise yourself that you’ll write at least three more sentences before you leave that screen, basically.
For me, that probably wouldn’t be enough… somewhere in there, something has to kick off and make something more of itself. What I do is commit to getting 500 words out every time I start writing — by the third time I write that day, I’m getting close to the 1800 I want, per day. Here’s a few other bits…
– Never edit: If you want to spellcheck, that’s good, but the next run is for editting — people get hung up trying to make one page perfect (rearranging sentences and scenes) instead of writing more imperfect pages. It will never, ever be perfect, so write like crazy and edit later. One of the best things keeping the word count going is that you have to force yourself to accept what goes down on the paper as your first draft, good or bad, and move on.
– Embrace productivity, not perfection: it doesn’t matter if what you’re getting down is crap, it’s your crap, and by god there’s a story there somewhere. Eventually you’ll find it, but for now just write write write. Nobody writes a perfect book, certainly not the first time. Stephen King writes 60k words a month so that after he does his second draft he’s still got 54k.
– Take lots of showers: Seriously. Something about those water drops hitting your head make ideas come.
– Never write everything: Finish each writing session with something you still haven’t had a chance to write lingering in your head. Let that small bit you haven’t done sit there and fester germinate. By the time you get around to writing that part, it’ll have lots of little word buddies that are waiting for you to write them as well.
– If you don’t know what comes next, move: You’ve got lots of characters (and if you don’t, add some, or make your main character schizo, or something). When you’re stuck on what happens next to character A, move to character B: someone else that you DO have an idea about. Readers will think you’re building suspense and heightening anticipation — they’re dead wrong, but who are you to correct them?
There are lots of people who know more about this than I do — these are just tricks for getting the words out there. Everything after that is gravy, so wallow around in the keyboard and just push. :)
Chris Baty’s suggestion: “Keep those guilt levels high and stay away from that delete key.”

One of those things you find out

Can’t remember where I ran across this little pearl of wisdom — it was sometime last year — but I can’t argue the accuracy.
1) A glass of wine seems like a good idea. It’s not.
2) A bottle of beer doesn’t seem like a good idea. It is.
Appropos of nothing — just felt like sharing.

I still don’t know what I’m going to do for NaNoWriMo…

While we walked he kept a hand thrust out towards the highway, thumb extended.
“Warding charm,” he said in response to my look. “We don’t want anyone to notice us while we’re out here; this makes sure they won’t. Virtually fool-proof except for the actual fools willing to pull over.”
“What do you do with them?”
He shrugged, his shoulders sliding oddly beneath the long coat. “Let them see what I really look like. Most of them assume it’s some bad acid coming back up or a warning from god or something and take off.”
“That’s who pulls over?”
He nodded. “Hippies and good samaritans; they’re both dying out, though, so it doesn’t come up much as it used to. The sixties were a pain in the ass.”

NaNoWriMo IV

It starts in a month.

Our demographic surveys indicate that many of you will be employed throughout October and November. Because work tends to interfere with the creative process, our team of negotiators have brokered special deals with your managers and bosses. For the next two months, any time spent planning your novel, writing your novel, or chatting online about your plans for writing a novel, will be considered Company Time and will be paid accordingly by your supervisor. Your employers feel that is the least they can do for you.

Also, they say you can print out your novel on the company laser printer when you’re finished.

I really wish I knew what I was going to write. My brain is all cloudy and befoggled.

Some sort of conclusion…

I want to thank my sponsors for all their support. You guys are the best.
I want to thank all my readers. You helped me get through this thing, which was a lot harder than I thought it would be.
This effort, the money we raised for CapCURE, and especially Vayland Rd. are dedicated to my Dad, who’s dealing with goblins of his own right now.
You keep swinging, old man; I’ll keep handing you the heavy sticks.

Brust on Writing, via Brust on Painting

Brust’s The Sun, the Moon, & the Stars isn’t about writing. It’s also one of the best books about writing, written by a writer, that I’ve read. A couple of the bits that I read before and liked have been banging around in my head, and I dug out the book and found them today.
When I get this far into a project, it always starts to drag, no matter how excited I am. The important thing is to keep going, and, no matter how much it hurts, to take care that each stroke is applied correctly. A lot of my worst work has been done during the middle stage of a project, when I feel that, if I’m sloppy here I can make up for it later — but you can only repaint something a certain number of times before you’re going to lose some of the luster, or, if you keep wiping things off with turpentine, before you hurt the canvas itself.
I took frequent breaks here; to sit back and rest. I read for a bit, painted for a bit, and read some more. The important thing at this point was to keep going, and not let myself get burned out.


I do know artists who say, “I can’t look at other people’s work while I’m painting because their style creeps in.” The first time I heard that, I did a cartoon of Gauguin’s style creeping into Cezanne’s work, and I called it “Such tragedy.” I thought it was pretty obvious, but the people who ought to get it never do.
I can’t understand that attitude. So, someone’s style has an influence on you. So what? Is his ghost going to come and push your brush around? […] Whoever else you’re looking at, you are the one doing the painting, and that’s that.


I think I’m going to start carrying my old journal with me. It’s not a big bulky item, and I’d always promised myself that I would eventually fill in all the pages in one of those blasted things, sometime during my life.
I made it pretty far into the journal on my first go-round before things started getting intermittent. Starting the website was the death-knell for the poor little book, but I might be able to fill in a few more pages.
Why? We’ll, I’d like to keep it and a pen handy for those (few) times when I think of something to write down for this book and I don’t have a computer at hand (when I wake up from a dream, or when I’m in the car or at a Con or someone’s house. Something.
On the other hand, a little ‘reporter’s notepad’ is 1.38 at any local gas station, and even smaller than the journal (though it doesn’t have the cool cover.