Tuesday, May 24, 2005

It's a whole new world!



Ah, that's better. I got up today and realized that for the first time in five months I don't have to go in and work on rewriting those same damned three chapters.

I'm free! I'm free!

I talked to a couple other publishers and published people over the last couple days, and the general agreement is that it was too many rewrites and I shouldn't have been so stubborn and stuck to it so long. I knew it wasn't going to work, but I wasn't going to give up... until I realized that I was ruining a good book trying to make it into something it wasn't.

Will I ever sell Ada Nish Pura? Maybe not. But sometimes you have to trust yourself as a writer.

Today I've spent working on the short story, Preparations. I'm down to the last sections, but I had to reread it all because in the swarm of other things I'd lost the feel. I think I have it back. The story is over 7k words now. I hope to finish it up below 10k.

The Internet has been up and down all afternoon for me. You would think this would help... but it doesn't. I end up checking more often than I would if it were up. It's some kind of nervous habit, I guess. There's not even anything there I want to see at the moment, but I still go bouncing in, trying a couple different pages. I'm positive this is a local problem since the connection was down on Sunday as well. I sure hope that they get it back up.

I've been involved in a conversation elsewhere about writing articles about writing. The last statement appears to say that if someone is writing an article about writing, then they aren't concentrating enough on learning how to properly write. I don't know.... I have to disagree on that one. I know many of the writers who contribute to Vision since so many are from FM. I know what they're working on, and I know that sometimes the act of writing about writing helps to bring the technical side into focus.

But it won't work for everyone. And of course there will always be some people who will do anything but write the stories they should be working on. But then I've know a few pros who do that, so it isn't just a new writer problem.

There's the other side of this, too, of course. The fact that people are doing their best to help others counts for something. Offering to share what has helped you and what you've learned is what Forward Motion and Vision are about. It's great when pros step in with answers... but there are far too few of them who can give the time to help new writers.

So here we are with FM and Vision. And if I went along with the ideas of a few others, I'd have to at least shut down Vision if not both, and tell the 4k or so people active there that they're going to have to move forward on their own.

I believe that FM and Vision have helped some writers. So I guess we'll just keep going and hope for the best.

Oh, and I need articles for Vision....

4 comments:

Nonny said...

*snork* Whoever said that regarding articles about writing is full of it. For me, at least, the reason I write them at all is to share what I've learned with others. Hell, sometimes you learn things yourself from writing the articles; it's one thing to do something, it's another entirely to explain it. Sometimes that process makes you look at it in a different light, or even think of a better way. So, I don't tend to view writing about writing as a waste of any sort.

Besides, how many pro-published authors write articles about writing? Seems rather insolent (not to mention ignorant) to think that because they do so, they must not know how to properly write. :P

Carter said...

I bounce back and forth on this one. I often find myself making up excuses not to work on the novel or the pile od unfinished short stories. On the other hand, writing about writing helps me become a better writer by making me focus on the technical and by forcing me to do some research so I can be sure I know what I'm talking about. It's a double-edged sword.

It seems to me that writing is ultimately a boot-strap profession. You can't learn it by sitting in a classroom listening to the pros. You have to learn by doing. You have to seek out the things you need to know, even when you don't know what they are. Writing about writing is a good tool for pulling myself up. As an added bonus, maybe something I write will actually be of some use to somebody. I can hope, can't I?

Emily Horner said...

I do have a tendency to turn a jaundiced eye on it when people who can't make money by writing fiction are trying to make money by telling you how to write fiction that will make money... but there, it's the mercenary nature of it all.

Vision doesn't pay a huge amount of money, and believe me, I'm not saying that as a negative thing! It makes it feel like the writers who submit do so not to make a buck, but to help out others.

P.S., Vision article is forthcoming.

Emily Horner said...

(Double-posting, sorry)

I just figured out what the crux of the matter is for me. It's whether you can teach writing or not.

If you can't teach writing (in a direct manner), then articles about writing are nothing more than angles from which to approach a problem, and I can learn something from just about anyone.

If you can teach writing in a direct manner, then it seems unwise to learn about it from someone who hasn't proven that they know how to do it--when one wants to learn physics, they go to a physics professor, and when they want to do pottery, they go to a good potter, and logically it would make sense to learn writing from someone who's proven they know how to do it.

I'm a moderate; some things about writing can be taught. Some things can only be learned, slowly, painfully, and encouragement on the journey is never a bad thing. I have things to learn from all writers, I think.