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bear by san

December 2021



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lion in winter dead

jazz police are paid by j. paul getty

Is it spring yet?

How about now?

Oh, all right. While we're waiting, here's some more questions. (Go here to ask your question.)

13) I've followed your LJ for about three years now, and am always interested to see how your writing process has changed/developed. Could you say a little about where you're at right now with the whole process thing, and how you feel it's developed since you published the first Jenny book?

I'm not really sure I have a process, as some writers describe it. I don't have a ritualized path I follow in order to to work my way through a manuscript, in other words.

What I have got is a toolbox, a set of tactics and strategies for telling stories that may work in any given situation (and sometimes don't work in others). Generally, I think the best tool for any job is the simplest and least flashy one. The one that doesn't draw attention to itself.

On the other hand, sometimes the only tool that will work is a laser-guided diamond-bladed dado cutter. Which is big and flashy and expensive and you have to know how to use it, but when you really need to cut that dado, the hand plane just isn't gonna get 'er done. I can pull off stuff now I never could have when I was writing Jenny's books. (The self-contradictory flashback/dream sequence/prophecy that takes place in Rheims, in Ink & Steel, for example: I could not have written that scene in 2001. I didn't have the skillz. It's total stunt writing--but it's also the only way I could make that scene do what I needed it to do.)

14.) Will you teach me the secret handshake? 

I never got issued one.

15) What's your take on writing groups? I know you have a group of authors that you chat with/work with, but what do you think about aspiring writers going out and finding writing groups? Is it wankery, or is it useful?

Depends on the writing group. A peer group and support network is essential, and I have certainly learned more about writing, over the years, from critting than from just about any other activity. (From critting, please note. Not from being critted.)

A good writing group is worth its weight in gold. A bad one is killer. How do you tell which is which? Well, there are a bunch of articles around on how to do just that.

16)  I keep trying to figure out what it is that Will has - it's not Parkinson's, and he says his father had it too, so it's probably not syphilis ... Huntington's?

It's not Parkinson's disease, per se, but rather a genetic parkinsonism. Very rare, but it does exist. Actual details of the illness have long since left my head: that was a lot of books ago. Heavy credit goes to porphyrin, M.D., for figuring out the details.

17)  How long does it take to write a book?

Depends on the book. I wrote By the Mountain Bound in three weeks. Blood & Iron took more than fifteen years. Hammered took eight years. Somwhere between there. Other writers vary. *g*

In some other, excellent news, casacorona has informed me that I successfully fixed the b#@k, or maybe she's going to send it out to a book doctor while my back is turned. I think I would be be okay with that.


re: b#@k

Seriously. I think I can ignore its existence until 2010. Thank God.
I would have just checked off 97% of what you suggested, probably. You don't have to convince ME the dratted thing needs help....

(apparently, I need to convince you. Isn't that backwards?)
I can read one of your books a whole lots faster than that, you need to step up the pace! :-)
Reread them.
Yay for manuscript-fixing!
Congrats on b#@k fixing!
Great news on the b#@k. May the next pass at the next damned b#@k be as successful and less stressful!
Re: rare genetic Parkinsonism - thanks! I may have to go and look it up now, neurodegenerative diseases are weirdly fascinating...