Wednesday, October 29, 2014
So this is a subject I have touched on before. The idea. I think it is something newer writers have the most trouble with. Hearing something like what Brandon Sanderson said in a lecture "Ideas are cheap" can be really hard to take in.
So how could this be true? The idea is what makes the story. It is the seed that grows the book. All of this is true. Still, have you bought seeds lately? They are pretty cheap.
Here is an example. Vampires. They have been around in fiction for so long. From Bram Stoker to Anne Rice we have had these blood sucking fiends around. When Meyers wrote her books she injected life into a literary zombie that seems will never go away. If you go to a book store you will find a vampire book written within the last year, on a shelf.
The idea is great. The problem is, when you think to yourself, "I have a great idea, of course I will be successful." you are setting yourself up for failure. The idea can also become a burden. It can become this idol that you are so scared of getting wrong that you stop writing.
So what am I really saying by all of this? The TL;DR version is, skill trumps idea. How do we get skill? You have to write. You have to write a lot. You have to write so much that you get lost in it. Then you have to throw it all away because it was just practice.
Those singing shows love to use the phrase, "A great singer can sing the phone book and we would love it." Well a great writer can write a story about a phone book taking a Christmas vacation and we would read through the night.
Don't let your ideas hold you back. Write about everything. Write in every genre. Write until the words you are putting down match the passion you have for being an author.
As a writer we spend much of our time thinking. We take things in and we process them. So watching a show, going to a park, brushing our teeth, can give us an incredible idea. They will be there for you.
Don't worry if a story "just isn't working". Don't worry if that great idea is rejected over and over. You are the precious object, not your idea. Just write, the rest will come with time.
As always, have fun and keep writing.
Friday, October 17, 2014
And here it is, another IF, proving at some point I can keep doing something. :) I figured I want to do this a bit different though. Instead of focusing on one piece of inspiration, I am going to give out several.
For this I can't pick a book, no for this I have to talk about a series, by Jim Butcher. The Dresden files is at this point made up of 15 books. From what the author says, there will be at least 20 books in the series by its finish.
This series and author inspire me in many ways. The steadiness at which Butcher writes is amazing. In paperback these are over 400 page books. Still he cranks them out with the seasoned ability that many professional writers could only dream of.
At the same time, a person could write books and put them out with frequency. Trust me I have started series where the author puts out a book every 6 months and the result isn't always pristine.
No, the main inspiration comes from how well they are written. You fall in love with the character, with the world in which he is written. You get to see a side of Chicago that almost feels real. The way he weaves his plot is, for lack of a better word, magic.
Trust me if I am ever in Chicago I am looking in the phone book for the only Detective Wizard around.
It may seem scary starting such a big series, but if you are looking for a great read that will give you tons of enjoyment I suggest diving in head first.
Music for me if a fluid thing. I am not a person that listens to one genre. I can thank my mom for that. She had every station on at some point when I was a kid. So weekly, well even daily, what inspires me could change. Still there is one song that is making frequent rounds as I write this week. The song itself is addictive, but the lyrics are quite clever as well. From Hozier - Take Me to Church.
If you, like me, own a DVR you know how distracting it can be. Also how full it can get when you put it off. Still you can find a lot of inspiration if the show is good enough. For me there is one show that really makes me want to create. Hell On Wheels, is a show about the construction of the first transcontinental railroad. This is one that has me excited to sit down and give an hour of my day.
There are many reasons this show is good, the plot, the acting, the way they end it just making you want more. Still a bigger reason is one man. Anson Mount. I am writing a book (The Andious Seed) and if I was ever lucky to have a movie made from it, this guy would play a staring role. If you know me you know that isn't something I ever do. Picking an actor never feels right, but for him it works so well.
Well I know it was a long time between IFs, but hopefully I have given you something to inspire yourself with. As always, have fun and keep writing.
Wednesday, October 1, 2014
This is an awesome group of people the come together to air their insecurities or offer advise and support. To join up go here.
This is the three year anniversary, of IWSG. Quite an accomplishment and truly this is a great group to be a part of.
Accomplishments are great to celebrate. The act of doing something, finishing something, accomplishing, something. I can honestly say the past few months have been absent of this for me. At least when I look to my writing/blogging.
Don't get me wrong, I had excuses. Good ones. The right kind of excuses. New born, moving to a new house and countless other things that are really good reasons to be absent and not so productive.
This is what I kept telling myself when I would have those little 'in my own head' conferences. In fact it is what I could tell my self from now until the deathbed.
Life will always have distractions. That is what life is. Good distractions, bad distractions. Last week I had what we in the south like to refer as a 'comin to Jesus' moment. I realized if this was the life I wanted. To support myself and family through artistic means. I could not let things get in the way. I had to sacrifice and make it a priority.
This isn't a very revolutionary idea. Ask any successful person you know or have heard of and they will tell you this is the truth. Still, sometimes it takes you pulling yourself aside and breaking the news, for it to sink in.
Anyway, I think I am on the right track now, as I just wrote 10k words last week. I hope you are all doing well. As always, have fun and keep writing.