Sunday, September 4, 2016

Thoughts on Writing (1 - 5)

1. You're going to suck when you start. Sucking when you start is okay. Every new project, no matter how brilliant the idea at the heart of it happens to be, is going to start by sucking. Just deal with it, and soldier through. Every sentence is a learning experience.

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 2. The rules of English grammar were devised by an evil linguist who had a bone to pick with the adherents of the more traditional schools of the written word. They laughed at him in the academy, and we bastards are still paying today. You don't need to have a perfect grasp of the seventeen thousand (occasionally conflicting) rules to be a writer; that's what editors and proofreaders are for. At the same time, you can't just throw a bunch of words at the page and expect to have all your work done for you. Learn the basic rules of punctuation and grammar before you subject other people to your work. They can squabble over the Oxford commas at their leisure.

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3. Putting fifty thousand words on paper does not make you a novelist. It makes you someone who successfully put fifty thousand words on paper. You should be proud of yourself for that, because dude, it's difficult to stick with a plot and a concept and an idea and characters for that long, and I salute you. At the same time, you're not a novelist. Sweating over those fifty thousand words until you're confident that at least forty thousand of them are good ones is what makes you a novelist. Good luck.

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 4. People are going to be mean to you. Full stop, absolutely, people are going to be mean to you. Some of them will be mean because they like what you're doing, and they want to see it work. Some of them will be mean because they feel like being jerks. Learn to see past the mean and get to the actual meat of what's being said. "I don't like romance" is not the same thing as "This scene makes no sense," and they don't have the same potential to benefit your work.

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 5. People are going to be mean to you: that's axiomatic. And sometimes, those people are going to have good and vital things to say. But people who are being mean for the sake of being mean have the potential to do more harm than good, and when you encounter those people, it's okay to walk away. Don't refuse to let anyone tell you that you're flawed. That way lies madness and pretentiousness. But don't stand around to be told that everything you think is fun is a steaming piece of shit, either.

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 tbc

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Show you care while you can...

I always wondered why people don't show
while others are still around.
We need to hear, see and feel
others care.
Flowers on a grave wither
without being treasured, touched and smelled...