Monday, October 24, 2016

Here We Are Again

Here we are, four years on from my last post on this blog and my most recent attempt at NaNoWriMo. And as predicted, I failed. Miserably. There's no real shame in that, but it does get a little depressing to fail every time I attempt to do this. I should accept the fact that I'm likely not cut out to be a novelist.

One of the things I've heard from successful novelists is that ideas are cheap. Specifically in this post by Brandon Sanderson on John Scalzi's Big Idea. Brandon talks about how "writers are accustomed to coming up with–and discarding–ideas on a daily basis." This isn't me. I don't have those ideas. At least I don't think I do.

This may very well be the biggest obstacle I have to face: coming up with an idea to write about. I have ideas for scenes and characters fairly regularly, but those are not Ideas. At least not ones that can sustain a novel-length story. They're Ficlets at worst (not to denigrate Ficlets as I loved that site) and short stories at best.

Another issue I have is that these characters and scenes don't necessarily fit into the types of stories I like to read. It would seem incredibly odd for me to want to write a literary character study on relationships when all I want to read are SF/F books. I don't really even read thrillers or courtroom dramas anymore. Technically I don't read at all anymore as I digest all of my books via audio. I have to write a story that I want to read, and that has been a difficult thing for me to synergize with the ideas I've come up with.

So here's the plan: fix it.

That's not really a plan, that's a goal. So let's plan out how to achieve the goal. The first step is to start writing again. And to do it regularly. I'm going to commit to writing at least one post here per week for at least the rest of the year. Just like anything, writing well takes practice. The more you do it, the easier it is, and the better you become at doing it... hopefully. I'm not entirely sure what I'll write about here, but I may take inspiration from an author whose blog I admire and enjoy reading: Peter Clines. His blog is great for aspiring writers as he often discusses ways to improve your writing in an entertaining fashion. It may not be the masterclass that is Stephen King's On Writing or Elmore Leonard's 10 Rules, but I've found it to be very informative and engaging. At the very least I can read his post and potentially come up with my own thoughts on it and bring them here.

In addition to Peter's blog, I've been enjoying the blog of Robert Bevan. His blog mainly concerns self publishing information, but also the weekly thoughts and minutiae of a very good, and funny, author. I can start there and see where it goes. In addition, I will try to come up with at least one sentence per week that might spark an idea for me. I'm going to cheat and start with one of my favorites from my past.

Idea of the week: The hotel room smelled of wet socks and sex. It was an eerily familiar scent that reminded Hilt of his childhood. Instinctively, he winced at the memory.

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