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bear by san

March 2017



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bear by san

Why I like writing science fiction.

Come on. You are standing on a planet that has developed naturally occurring fission reactors and evolved multicellular life, and you're going to tell me that what I make up has to be plausible?

Honey, that was your first mistake.

I feel better now that I've remembered that, in the first hundred pages of any given novel, I always feel as if I'm wandering about windmilling my hands and having no clue what the hell I'm on about or how I'm going to cram everything I need to cram into the narrative.

The story-generating engine is pretty well trained, at this point. I should just get the hell out of its way and let it write the book.

This reminds me of the distant past, when I was trying to get sane, and part of that process was become hyperconscious and analytical about everything I did or said, considering my motives and reactions and so forth. Finally, my then-boyfriend said the most important thing to me that anybody had or has ever said. "You're not as crazy as you think you are."

Which triggered the realization that the self-training had started to take. It was very freeing.

Now, perhaps I need to understand that I have reached a point in my writing where I don't have to do everything consciously and through intellectualization anymore. Maybe I can relax, a little, and let the story tell itself.

Which would be good. Because really, I think I may be overthinking this novel.

Now if I can just figure out how to get all this plot, these necessary characters, the thematic elements I like, the worldbuilding, and the several shiny ideas into the same jigsaw puzzle, I may yet pull this thing off.

Also, books that one has not been thinking about for the past fifteen years are harder to write than books that one has been thinking about for the past fifteen years. My problem is, I get more fantasy ideas than I can actually write or sell, so they sit longer and get more cooking time and are thus easier to write when the time comes. But I could probably sell more SF than I get ideas for, and so they get written faster, which means I have to do the thinking and worldbuilding and plotting frontbrain instead of backbrain.

And that's like, you know, work.

Yesterday, at stillsostrange's journal, we learned that Emerson College is hell. (Go ahead and click on the location link if you don't believe me.)

Alien report: alien fragments coughed up smaller and less frequent today, but I still sound like Kermit with laryngitis.



Your blog should be required reading for developing writers. Whenever you write about your process, I learn something about mine, and that has helped me immeasurably.

So, thanks.
Thank you.

That's why I do it, more or less. Also, it helps me to talk about it...
Channe, I've noticed your icon before. I heart it very much, Mrs President.
1. matociquala: Plus, your columns make me purchase your novels, which means everybody wins!

2. floatingtide: Why, thanks! I wish I could say I made it. It makes me laugh -- even if I do have to wait until October. Woe!
I'll join that geek chorus -- Woe!
FWIW, I like you writing science fiction too!

I just finished Worldwired. You don't like making things too easy for your characters, do you? :D
If it's easy, there's no story!

(and thank you.)
we learned that Emerson College is hell

Pft. I told you that months ago.
But Google supports you!
All hail the mighty Google!
What if Google and Wikipedia joined forces?
"in the first hundred pages of any given novel, I always feel as if I'm wandering about windmilling my hands and having no clue what the hell I'm on about or how I'm going to cram everything I need to cram into the narrative."

Yes! That's it exactly! I had a plateful of this last night. Followed by a, "Why am I doing this?" chaser.
"Come on. You are standing on a planet that has developed naturally occurring fission reactors and evolved multicellular life, and you're going to tell me that what I make up has to be plausible?"

Whoah. Zing. I think this will be your "nothing to declare but my genius."
It's a hard habit to get out of, this plausibility thing.

Crippling. Crippling, I tell you.

Next stop, snakes on a plane.
On that note, you know how science fantasy has become somewhat of an archaic genre these days, at least AFAIK, and at least in the Jules Verne sense?

Plausability be damned. I think I've figured out how to make a modern science fantasy work. *huge grin*
Actually, a lot of people are writing it. M. John Harrison, Charles Stross, China Mieville....

This is what I get for being totally oblivious to everything these days.

And for reading The Mammoth Encyclopedia of Science Fiction far, far too much.

(On another note, bookstores depress me. 'cause I always walk in there and think, "...Even if I had the cash for all these, no way in Valhalla I've have the *time* for all of them.")

This is why the pros read reviews. *g*
This is true.

If for nothing else, book reviews are done solely for the benefit of our calendars. =^P

(OT: HOLY COW, LJ FEED OF CHOPPING BLOCK. My life is complete.)

(Further OT: If there is only one thing college has taught me so far, it is that yes, it IS indeed possible to be suffering more than you already are. Must...Stop...Typing...And...Do...Astronomy work.)
I was glad to read this as I just meandered past page 114 of something I"m working on, with no true idea where it's going. I'm glad I've got hope going forward... hehe.

Course, I suppose that some people out there might meander another couple hundred pages with no end in sight, nor plot in sight either.
In the photography class I'm taking, we have to post a picture a day to a photo blog ("phlog"). The idea being that we learn to use the camera unconsciously, so that working the camera doesn't interfere with taking and making the photograph. In other words, getting out of our own way.

Also, re overthinking:


I dunno. One of the other options Google gave was the offices of The National Review... I'm more inclined to buy that, because it's also in /New York City/. A place with many wonderful people, to be sure, but the city itself... Not so much.
Well, what you make up for science fiction (as opposed to science fantasy) does have to be plausable.
The problem with that is that given say 4 to 12 billion years of natural selection (12 billion years lets the universe stew and get more interesting for a few billion years before worrying about things that move about under their own power), most things that are physically possible probably fall within the realm of plausable.
By the way, your naturally occuring fission reactors, are you talking about a terrestrial life form?
Nah, it doesn't have to be plausible at all. Youcan't limit yourself to the plausible.

Dude! Space spiders! Dyson spheres!

And no, I mean naturally occuring fission reactors. At Oklo.


No shit.

Hum, I'd want to see the materials numbers on a Dyson sphere, but it seems to me to fall within "plausible" assuming that it is at all possible.
As for space spiders... I've seen some convincing arguements that a vaccum organisim is physically possible and I can come up with a set of circumstances that would lead to one, and from "things living in a vaccum" it is a fairly small step to "big bitey space bugs"
I doubt that natuaral selection could go redily from spiders on the ground to spiders in space, though who knows I may be limiting things too much, but I see no problem with going from a high altitude plankton like organisim (there have to be some) to a vaccum organisim and from there going multicellular.