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bear by san

March 2017

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bear by san

Fun, fun, fun until her daddy takes the T-Bone Walker Blues Away

Yes, I am in a weird mood. Why do you ask?

"Notorious" is one of the two theme songs for the staff at my day job. The other one is Don Henley's "Dirty Laundy."

Yes, I do work for a media company. Why do you ask?

Anyway, today is ledger reconcilation. Thankfully, I've written a pretty little spreadsheet that does all the math automagically, and now it's just data entry. I flunked Algebra, so of course I find myself the office Quickbooks guru.

What does all this have to do with writing? Not a damned thing. Let's get this back on topic, shall we?

I want to talk about challenging yourself. I'm developing a theory--based mostly on reading slush, and reading submissions on the workshop, and seeing what gets published and what doesn't.... that what sells is the challenging stuff. The stuff that maybe we didn't think we were ready to write, or knew how to write, but we did it anyway. The stuff that comes from down deep.

Read a great interview with David Hartwell of TOR today (thanks, Jaime, for the link) and I was really delighted by his wit. And the fact that he's looking for writers with a grounding in the tradition of SFF. I see so much stuff that makes it plain to me that the writers haven't bothered to read widely.

Here's a thing: if you don't have time to read widely, there's no point in writing. Because somebody else has said it already.

It's also important, as Celia keeps saying, to look for the new idea. But you won't be able to spot the new idea until you know what all the old ideas look like.

I'm almost tempted to say that I've realized if I'm comfortable writing something, I should throw it out.

Comments

I'm almost tempted to say that I've realized if I'm comfortable writing something, I should throw it out.

yeah, I'm starting to think that. but I think maybe there's a fine line between comfortable writing something and *too* comfortable. I'm comfortable writing clanless, but I think it's still a story I want to tell. On the other hand, all my fairytale retellings have moved into the "too comfortable" stage and have been shelved until I figure out what the heck I'm doing with them. Cause I'm clearly not abusing them as much as I need to. But some stories and some characters need less abuse. Plus, I'm not as mean as you are.

Yeah, exactly. I mean, I'm comfortable in the Cyberpunk character's heads: I know them very well. But I'm a little nervous about where I'm taking them, and the story, and the planet.

So I think it's like ploughing: fallow earth is easy to replow, but if you've already been through it with a harrow for twenty years, you're unlikely to turn up any interesting rocks unless you plow deeper or move one field to the left.

(Anonymous)

Rhonda

I know what you mean. I had no idea what to do about Lex, and I definitely didn't think I was ready for it yet. But it had been burning a hole in my brain for 15 years and I thought, maybe if I just got a decent start...

Turned out okay so far, if I do say so myself.

I wish I could read as much now as I did when I was young. I just don't know why I'm having so many problems finding recent books that I can afford, or why my times so limited. Guess I'll have to go without sleep soon.