Today (Sunday), my older daughter was graduated from high school. It has been an emotional weekend, full of celebration, of wistful remembrance, of joyful anticipation of adventures and journeys to come.
Throughout the various events, as I have watched my child take these first decisive steps into adulthood, even as she still smiles at me with a face that doesn’t seem to have changed at all in the past eighteen years, I have found myself thinking about many things, most of them having nothing at all to do with writing. But I have given a good deal of thought to the notion of narrative, to the ways in which we humans seek to shape a coherent story out of events and circumstances and milestones that do not necessarily lend themselves to a coherent progression of “plot points.”
It seems to me that we do this at moments like these. [...]
Continue reading On Creativity: Narrative, Fiction, and Life
[Warning: This post touches on an emotional political issue in order to illustrate a point. I do NOT want the comments on this post to devolve into political debate. This is ultimately a post about writing and character work. Please refrain from commenting on the political stuff beyond how it relates to character work. Comments that are polemical or divisive, whether or not they agree with my personal political views, will be deleted. Thank you. We now return to our regularly scheduled Monday post...]
There is a moment late in the second Thieftaker book, Thieves’ Quarry (due out July 2 from Tor), in which my protagonist, Ethan Kaille, explains to another character all that has happened in the previous days and how the magic wielded by the “bad guy” contributed to a series of attacks and deaths. When he is finished, he and the character in question have the following [...]
Continue reading On Writing and Creativity: Who Are Our Characters?
I sold my first novel in 1994 — it took three years for that first book to find its way to print, but that’s a topic for a different post. The sale itself came in ‘94. My first short fiction sale came seven years later, and in the intervening years I met many aspiring writers who had sold short stories but were still waiting for that first novel sale. They envied me my contracts with Tor. Some of them probably resented me just a little.
I was grateful for the novel sale — even from the small advance on that first book, and even with my agent at the time taking his 15% of that tiny advance, I still made way, way more on my one novel than some of those folks did on four, or five, or even six short story sales. But the truth is that as much [...]
Continue reading On Writing: Why I Love Writing Short Fiction
James R. Tuck
Today I will be in a car heading to the Olde City New Blood convention in St. Augustine, Fl so I apologize in advance that I will not be getting back here to any comments until later in the day, possibly in the late evening.
That being said, let’s get into the heart of today’s musing.
I’ve been a descriptive writer from the get. I will tell you exactly what a thing looks like and every moment of its existence as it relates to my story. I’ve always prided myself on it and I work to improve what is already one of my best abilities. I seek out new words, looking to boldly go where no writer has gone before.
I use words like eldritch, corpulent, and etheric. I pair words with things and actions that create a jarring feel to them like oilsheen crackle and I use: “A musty, [...]
Continue reading THE METAPHOR OF THE THING (or, getting my Cormac McCarthy on)
Let me start by wishing all of you a happy 2013 filled with challenges, successes, and new creative endeavors. I also want to comment on something Misty said last week — the whole “whatever you do on New Year’s Day is what you’ll do throughout the year” thing. I spent New Year’s Day dealing with a mild case of food poisoning, so I’m really hoping that Misty’s got that one wrong. Nothing personal, Darlin’; I just have other plans for 2013.
I usually use my first post of the year to write about goals for the coming months — things I want to accomplish, improve upon, etc. But it seems to me that my last several of these New Year’s posts have been pretty much the same. So let me just say for the record that I plan to work hard this year; that I plan to promote the second [...]
Continue reading Creative Intersections: Point of View and Worldbuilding
Happy New Year Everyone! I am so glad to see 2012 go I can hardly stand it. Whew.
This is likely to be the last InfoDump segment, unless I get inspired. We’ll see. This entire series (1,2,3, and now 4) has been an example of how to take info and use to further the scene, the character development, and the plot with the info, rather than let it slow the plot down.
Some of these *info things* we always need in a novel, and some would be at the direction of an editor, requested in the textual rewrite letter. This is what happened to me when the acquisitions editor wanted world-building before the first action scene. I like action scenes, so I wrote an *almost action scene* into the 28 page new first chapter, using it to further the info-world-building.
Here is that partial list of the editor’s requirements [...]
Continue reading The InfoDump Scene, Part 4.