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Author Topic: Roll a 5, semi-random writing advice  (Read 765 times)

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Offline MoonHunter

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Roll a 5, semi-random writing advice
« on: June 23, 2009, 11:07:08 PM »
Adapted from http://www.writersdigest.com/article/get-real-about-publishing/

Whether writing a submission or novel, there are some good techniques to help you write better

1. Write, don?t talk.
The tendency when you?ve got something as hot as your idea is to talk it out with your spouse or best friend or fellow gamer?and oh, how gratifying it is to see them catch your excitement and reflect it back. And then maybe a game store clerk or a kindly aunt and I?m not going to mention your Pilates partner or car mechanic, as I?m sure you get the picture: The more you talk out your idea, the harder it is to transfer it into print with the same high energy. When we hit the keyboard, a certain amount of drudgery awaits. If you?ve gone the too-easy route by talking, you?re going to face the too-hard route of writing.

2. Create a daily practice.
The same thing goes for lying in bed thinking of all your great ideas or sitting in a traffic jam daydreaming about how your piece will sound. Out, out, go all those perfect sentences and bits of language that may never come back when you?re finally staring at the blank screen. Yes, you can always carry a notebook for scattered ideas, but the better plan is to slam the lid down and wait for your special time. Learn to funnel every bit of project's energy into a regular daily practice of writing. Get up at 5 a.m., when your mind is fresh and the house is quiet, and creak open that lid. Your ever-searching mind will love you because never again will you postpone the time to think and write; now all your senses are getting ready every minute of the day for this one precious time?and boy, will the dam burst. (Pardon all mixed metaphors from now to end of article.)

3. Find a trusted advocate.
An author needs solitude during the writing process like an infant needs milk. Every time you sit down alone at the keyboard, think of destiny?s hand placing you there: This is your fueling station, even when?especially when?you read the pages the next day and think, oh hell, it?s horrible. Remember Anne Lamott?s advice about ?s**tty first drafts.? They?re just part of the learning process, and believe me, to paraphrase philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, every failure makes you stronger.

But a time does come when you as the author are too close to the material to judge objectively how good it is, and that?s when you need trusted outside help. Resist your inclination to run a chapter by friends or relatives, because they?re rooting for you to succeed?and, like it or not, that taints their judgment. Better to find a writing group or individual who games and writes who?ll work for you. Ask other writers and book bloggers for referrals; try two or three sessions, and if you don?t find the advice useful, go find another one. If your a novelist, hire a consultant with publishing experience who knows how to be your writing advocate?someone who not only points out your weaknesses, but shows you how to use your strengths to fix them. If all else fails, find a high school writing teacher or English professor or your friend the English major you trust and ask her for a read-through. Just don?t start the submission process alone, without reaping the benefits of valuable outside input first.

4. Cultivate your local bookseller.
If you are an author, you?re probably a reader, and I hope you?ve been placing your book-buying dollars with an independent bookstore. Not only do these hardworking retailers keep free speech and literary diversity alive, but they can be an author?s best friend. If you?re a returning customer who?s known by the staff, when you do land that coveted book deal, they?ll all be so proud of you and so excited your book is coming out that they?ll have ideas to spread the word you?ve never thought of. They can, for example, write selling reviews to other booksellers through the national pipeline of independents called IndieBound; create ?shelf-talkers??personal written recommendations from staff taped on the bookshelf; talk the book up with your publisher?s sales rep; host your first launch party; tell other authors about your book; offer a place for TV/radio/newspaper interviews, get word to the dozens of book groups they host and generally create the kind of buzz that makes your publication day a real event.

While this is aimed more ath novelists, you can do the same thing with your local gamer community and the store that you get things from. People working at said stores are probably hardcore gamers, who game blog, know gamers who blog, are on email lists, and might actually write review bit for their local distriutors. This still works for gamers, it is just harder to find that perfect peson.

Don?t wait until you have a book to build these relationships. Start right now.

5. Do it now.
While this was written for authors with only the tiniest tweak I made it for Strolen writers. Right now you are reading an article as long as one of our submissions. Someone thought about it and made it so.  Why not you?  I know this is preaching to the choir, but it works. 
« Last Edit: June 26, 2009, 08:26:57 PM by MoonHunter »
MoonHunter
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Online Scrasamax

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Re: Roll a 5, semi-random writing advice
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2009, 01:14:56 PM »
« Last Edit: June 25, 2009, 11:29:14 PM by Scrasamax »


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Offline MoonHunter

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Re: Roll a 5, semi-random writing advice
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2009, 08:25:12 PM »
Mea Culpa. I thought I had added that part.    I will edit the original post now.

Also: If you all have an issue, you can send me an email. I am not on the site as often at the moment, so a half dozen PMs are not going to get any better response than one..
MoonHunter
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Online Scrasamax

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Re: Roll a 5, semi-random writing advice
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2009, 09:22:41 PM »
Very good sir, thank you for that correction.

Adding the #5 from the article:

Quote
5. Schedule phony trips to New York.

So you?ve submitted your work and you?ve garnered some interest. This is a crucial, pivotal moment. Usually you can sense the right agent or editor for you, but until you sit down for a face-to-face talk, you won?t really know for sure. Especially if your decision is split between two or three candidates, the best thing is to get on a plane and fly to New York so you can interview them all. (Of course, very good agents live all over the country, but I?m assuming your major candidates are in New York).

But since they?re all in the fast lane and you?re at the bottom of the heap, remember, it would kill them if they had to be owing to you for coming to New York specifically to see them. Somehow the guilt they?d feel would turn around and make you the stalker.

Once you?ve signed with a house, always say to the editor, ?I have a trip to New York scheduled in a few weeks. Perhaps I could meet with you then.? Their relief will be palatable on the phone. Make it clear you come to the city several times a year?and start saving mileage or cash for it now. In your early meetings, your editor will introduce you to the art director, sales manager, advertising and publicity people. Don?t let these meetings drain down the sewer. Establish personal relationships so that later when you have questions, or when some terrible decision is about to be made, your voice will be heard.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2009, 04:52:51 AM by Scrasamax »


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Offline MoonHunter

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Re: Roll a 5, semi-random writing advice
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2009, 10:16:20 PM »
Yes, that was from the orignal article. While it is important for a novel writer, not as important for us.  Unless you are dropping by your local Strolen's Admin for a dose of inspiration.  So we have one west coast, one middle, one eastern, and one in Europe, all equally as inconvenient for everyone.  :)

MoonHunter
Sage, Gamer, Mystic, Wit
"The road less traveled is less traveled for a reason."
"The world needs dreamers to give it a soul."
"And it needs realists to keep it alive."
Authentic Strolenite ®©