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The Other Side of the Coin

Today, I want to talk a little about language. I happened onto a twitter fight (one of the few things I find twitter is still good for is watching people talk past each other at 140 characters) yesterday where one of my twitter friends – someone I respect but with whom I find myself often disagreeing – had said something about how soda pop was poison. Which got another of my twitter friends – someone else I respect but with whom I find myself often disagreeing (I must be a very disagreeable person), really really upset.

Why?

Well, that’s a good question. I can’t answer for my twitter friend. I can tell you that I thought it was a gross and inappropriate use of language.

Goals, Motivation, Confusion.

There’s a lot of talk out there about goals. I keep hearing people talk about them, and the advice is sometimes a little contradictory.

You should tell everyone about your goals so that you build up some accountability!

You should tell no one about your goals so that you’re more likely to actually do them!

Goals need to be big, hairy, and audacious!

Goals need to be specific, measurable, actionable, reasonable, and… I forget what the T is. Time-focused? On a deadline?

Market Devolution, and Brie

The other day, as I was tootling around the internets, I happened upon a very quick exchange between one of my favorite authors and some random dude. They were talking about Kickstarter.

Kickstarter, said the author, isn’t charity. It’s an open market. Open to everyone. If you like something, kick in and contribute. Promote. And if you don’t? Stay away. No skin off your nose, no burr under your saddle. Move on, nothing to see here.

The second guy jumped in and said something that I thought was interesting. He said, in essence, “Sure. And like all other open markets, it will devolve to the most average, most generic, most commercial products possible.”

What’s scary about this?

Reading David Farland’s Million Dollar Outlines, and liked the first exercise so much I thought I’d post it here.
It’s easy enough.
Sit down for ten minutes.
Think of five things you most like in your fiction. Then identify what you think is the biggest potential danger in trying to create that effect.
1.a sense of wonder and excitement.
I worry that it won’t translate, or that I will come across as a rube or a hick.
2. I like seeing a hero win against impossible odds.
This is tricky, because the temptation is twofold. Maybe I will make things too easy for my heroes, and they’ll never have to struggle or be in real peril. Or maybe I will make things too hard, and he either won’t win, or the ending will be contrived and unauthentic.
3.I like seeing a good love story.
But with today’s culture being what it is, I worry that people will think of my stories as being too prudish. And being able to separate love and sex is growing increasingly difficult for this culture.
4. I like big battles, explosions, and action.
It’s hard to keep track of what’s going on, and to convey the appropriate amount of peril. See 2.
5. I like big ideas in my fiction – I love Starship Troopers and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress and The War Against the Chtorr books specifically because of the super-interesting ideas in them. But it’s hard to do that without coming across as preachy and didactic. And those same ideas may alienate potential audience members.

Breadcrumbs

I wrote Battlehymn with a vague inkling of where it might be headed. I borrowed from a number of places including LDS scriptures, the works of John Ringo, Macross Frontier, etc. And I wrote it pretty quick – it was a NaNoWriMo novel, after all, and the whole think clocks in just north of 60k words.

I finally sat down and wrote a good chunk of what’s left in book 2 – Lamentations tonight. (Yeah, I know, the goal was 3k a day, I’m a week behind, I know. That’s still what I’m shooting for. Which will get harder starting Monday when I start a new contract job for a few months.)

Happy 2013 – A Year for Writing

It’s day one. Yes, it’s an arbitrary distinction, but it’s one I am wholeheartedly embracing.

After taking a look at my writing goals for this year, here’s what I’m doing. I’m erasing the Google Docs tracker that you see in the sidebar, and re-assessing my goals. As for a bare word count goal for the year, I’m setting that at 750,000 (which including my NaNo books I’ve done in years past, will put me at 1,000,000 words). And if I allow for Sundays off and a two week vacation, that means that starting today, I should be writing 2,500 words per work day. (There’s a very slight buffer there, but 2500 becomes the new baseline. Which after reading Michael Moorcock’s “Death is No Obstacle” is pretty small potatoes. Moorcock’s normal writing day is 15,000 words. (I’m hoping by the end of the year to be able to put up 5k on a regular basis.)

Hobbit thoughts

hobbitSaw it again last night. Had a crazy idea that maybe I could record the audio, because there were some good lines in there that aren’t in the original, at least I don’t remember them in there – the bit about small acts being what holds back the darkness, for an example – but in the end I decided not to do that. After all, it’s just not cricket.

Annual Planning – 2013

In Which I Speak Of The Year Soon Over (And There is Much Rejoicing at its Demise)

The less said about 2012, the better. It’s been one of the hardest, most difficult, most disappointing, frustrating, miserable years I have had the misfortune to suffer through. On both a professional and a personal level, 2012 has been challenging.

That’s not to say it’s been without bright spots. Most notably as far as anyone reading this is concerned, this is the year I finally let one of my novels out into the wild, and everyone who’s heard it / read it seems to like it and seems to want more. So there’s that.

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GSG Gaiden 2012 Podcast – Ep 30

Seriously, I have no idea why you’re even listening to this today. You should be writing.

Ahead or behind, this is your last day to participate in this year’s NaNoWriMo. So, two last pieces of advice.

#1. Don’t submit this first draft anyplace. Seriously, ANY PLACE. Take some time, then re-write the heck out of it, polish it as much as you know how… THEN submit it. Seriously. That’s what I’m going to do.

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GSG Gaiden 2012 Podcast – Ep 29

Two days left.

You know the drill. It’s serious business.

But first, be entertaining! (or no one will pay attention to your sooper serious stuff!)