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bear by san

March 2017

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holmes confidence

everyone i know goes away in the end

That meme that's going around about rules for writing?

I ain't got any.

All I got is one guideline:

"There are no rules, only tactics and techniques that work or do nor work in any given situation."

Now, I have some tactics for applying those techniques (one of them is to use the simplest method that will get a story told effectively in any given case), but that's all they are. Tactics and techniques. If it works it works; if it doesn't, try something else. Fetishizing a process doesn't help get the story told.

Speaking of not fetishizing the process, today was my first day of unplugged dedicated fictioneering time. I actually got to the end of my self-imposed don't-kill-yourself-Bear ten-page daily informal limit before I ran out of dedicated writing time (I did start early, so I wrote straight through for about two and a half hours).

Maybe the time off has helped refill my brain.

Tea today was the last of the Pai Mu Tan vanilla.

Word does not know synonyms for "durance," but it knows them for "incarceration."

And hey, look at this:


324 / 400 pages. 81% done!

Some of it is notes and stuff, so I really am more like on page 295ish, but hey, it's still striking distance. Striking distance is very encouraging. Just got to a big plot twist and thought up a way to complicate it further (which will require revision, but will hopefully be surprising) and hey, soon there will be Climactic Space Battle Yay!

Now I get to go to the grocery store, complete a bunch of administrivia, call an accountant, and make French onion soup for dinner. And then maybe work on my reading.

The literary life: It's totally for people who didn't get enough of homework in college and high school.

Comments

thanks for this_ I sorely needed to hear it :)
My only observation about rules for writing is that successful writers more often than not have cats.
Hooray for striking distance!

On my second day of the new job, I have begun a business trip that will see me living in a hotel room for ~2.5 weeks. My co-workers recommended that I make sure that a car is rented for me at my destination (in Stratford, Ontario), but being inspired by my current reading of Ink and Steel, I may turn this into an opportunity to put pen to paper without the distractions of housework, etc.
Conquer. *g*
"There are no rules, only tactics and techniques that work or do nor work in any given situation."

Pretty much what I said, in my own "Rules of Writing" post (ALL the cool kids are doing them [grin])

And this -
The literary life: It's totally for people who didn't get enough of homework in college and high school.
- oh. So. Totally. True.
I think there is actually one rule.

Write.

Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly, writers gotta write.

Sure, there's lots of other stuff - editing, research, notecards or outlines or big scary diagram on the whiteboard, editing, occasional faffing about on the internet, beer with friends, blog-posting, editing, reading something completely different for a brain break, editing, laundry, the occasional dinner out to celebrate a milestone, editing- ...but at some point, if you're a writer, eventually you're going to have to write something.

So that's my rule: write.
"There are no rules, only tactics and techniques that work or do nor work in any given situation."

I love this. I think it applies to all kinds of arts not just writing and I kind of want to paint this on the wall at home. :)
glad this is working out for you.... I can always use more climactic space battles!
How about: "Tell the story!"
That's often a valid technique. But sometimes you get better results doing something else.
While it might not always be a great technique for getting there, sooner or later you gotta tell a story.
Unless you're writing for Lit. majors. In that case, just do a very long character study. Few will notice the lack of plot.
Well, actually what I meant is that sometimes it's more effective to tell what happens around the story and let the reader figure out the story for himself. Or to tell a version of the story, and let the reader figure out how your narrator has lied or been misguided.

And so on.
Oh, definitely. Telling the story from a different angle, or through a new lens can be very effective. Of course, I don't have the skill to even try, but yeah.
{thinking...] You went that direction with "Undertow" if memory serves.
"81% done"

... except for the part where you go over your page count by 20%, of course.

:-P
Actually, I generally tend to underwrite, because my first drafts are pretty sketchy.

But then, as I keep telling people, no two writers are alike, and assuming other people have the same set of issues I do is a good way to make myself look like an idiot.
Yeah, I might have been projecting, there...
"There are no rules, only tactics and techniques that work or do nor work in any given situation."

It is like the Jeet Kune Do of writing.