not quite ready, so here are some links

Well, the post I promised last time about the interchapters will be a coming along little later, since I want to have the actual story ready first (with the interchapters), so you can see what I mean, and it’s not quite ready for prime time.

So, meanwhile, here’s some great links:

1) Over at The Debutante Ball, Lisa Alber’s first novel, Killmoon, is out. I think it’s safe to say that she’s a bit excited by this: “Oh My God, Just, Oh My God (The Book Launch!)

Congratulations to Lisa – it sounds like she’s been having a great week.

2) Here’s a link to an audio of Stevan Allred and Dan Berne reading from their books (both published by Forest Avenue Press). I haven’t listened to the whole thing yet, but Stevan’s reading of his short story “To Walk Where She Pleases” is first rate.

Later: I listened to the Q&A, and Stevan made a really good comment. He was asked where his ideas comes from, and he said that once you create a world, as he did with the town of Renata, where all the stories in his collection A Simplified Map of the Real World are based, you can wander around in it and look for stories. I’ve never heard it put quite this way before, but this is exactly what I do in U-town. I look for stories, I look for places where a mystery might be set, and I think about what kinds of people might want to come there.

Also, neither Stevan nor Dan outlines. I always like to hear that. 🙂

3) Tiyana Marie White posted this on Tumblr. I don’t really know how Tumblr works (I guess you have to register or something), so I’m linking to it here.

I think the point is very true (at least the point about limits – the point about cost seems a little mechanical). And it’s particularly interesting as it applies to mystery stories. If people can do things which are beyond human limits, and if the parameters aren’t set very clearly and specifically, it’s very difficult to have the solution of the mystery not seem like a cheat.

4) T.S. Bazelli wrote an interesting post called “Wishing.” As I talked about there, I’ve never wished for the skills I don’t have, since I’ve spent all these years learning to work within my limitations.

For example, Elton John (who used to earn his living as a piano player before he became “Elton John”) has said that his style of playing was determined by the fact that he has short, stubby fingers. He learned to work within that limitation, and I imagine that at some point he stopped wishing for long, elegant fingers.

5) Oh, and Kristan Hoffman posted a “Confession” that I thoroughly endorse. 🙂

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6 Responses to not quite ready, so here are some links

  1. Maggie says:

    Tumblr’s just another blogging platform, but geared more toward pictures than text posts.

    And as for the “Confession”… I have to confess that I sometimes put my blog ahead of my stories! Probably because my blog gets read by people other than me, and the stories aren’t at that stage yet. 🙂

    • I deal with that sometimes by blogging about whatever I’m writing, but I know some people aren’t comfortable with that — they don’t like to talk about anything until it’s done. Me, I usually find blog posts about process to be interesting (mostly because everybody’s seems to be different 🙂 ).

  2. SB Roberts says:

    I finally understand what Tumblr is now. : ) That’s a great post, too. I’ve limited the use of magic in my fantasy writing because of that danger (and because I always felt that I didn’t have the experience/understanding to do it right), but that’s a great way of looking at it.

    • I don’t use magic per se, at least not as people usually understand it. I guess it’s a legacy of a lifetime of reading comic books, but usually it’s a character here and there who can do things which regular people can’t. Sometimes it’s just a hint, other times (like in the story I’m writing now) it’s more explicit.

  3. Thanks for the Forest Ave shout-out, Anthony! I’m always rapt when Stevan talks about craft, and how he comes up with stories. I’ve learned to trust the process through listening to how he works and trusts his own stories. Many, many years ago (well, not THAT many, but it feels like a long time), I moved to Portland and lucked into Stevan as one of my writing teachers. So much of my own fiction has been influenced by his bits of wisdom, and most of all, he has fun with writing, and I’ve tried to keep that sentiment sacred, too, even on the hard days when I feel like I’m circling around the wrong thing. It’s still fun. Mostly.

    • I also liked Stevan’s point about how you know when you’re done. That’s kind of where I am with my current story — fiddling with commas and searching for the perfect word — so I think I’m done (at least for now). And, yes, I think it should be fun. It’s an odd dynamic, but I think if the author isn’t having any fun, the odds are that the reader won’t have any fun either. The dynamic is odd because it doesn’t work the other way (for example, I’ve seen movies where it’s obvious that everybody making it was having a great time and is very pleased with themselves — but the movie stinks). Fun is an important factor, but certainly not the only one.

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