WARNING: This post contains math.
We’re going to file the inspiration for this post under the heading, David has too much time on his hands . . .
The other day I was brushing my teeth. This is not an unusual occurrence. I brush my teeth everyday. But while I was brushing my teeth, I was also thinking, and that is somewhat rare. My wife and I have one of those Sonicare toothbrushes that work for a set amount of time — 2 minutes — and then shut off. (Bear with me: this really is going somewhere.) So, it occurred to me that I brush my teeth for almost exactly four minutes every day, which doesn’t seem like a lot at first. But if I brush my teeth for 4 minutes a day, that’s 28 minutes per week and 1,456 minutes per year. Or just slightly over 24 hours. [...]
Continue reading On Writing: Little Things that Yield Big Results
I have never done NaNoWriMo. I know that there is an ongoing debate about its efficacy for aspiring writers, but I haven’t felt that I could stake out a position one way or another.
Now, though, I am now in the midst of my own NaNo experiment. I started City of Shades (Thieftaker Chronicles, book III, by D.B. Jackson) later than I had intended, which means that I was behind almost from the start. So, I decided that I needed to crank out the pages in February. If I could write 45,000 words this month, I would be back on track. If I could get 50,000 words, I would be ahead of schedule heading into March, which would be good I’ll be taking a week off to travel with my family and celebrate my big milestone birthday. That’s right: I’m about to turn 21 . . .
Anyway, I [...]
Continue reading Holiday Post: My List of the Best Writing Tips
Today, I continue my series of Creative Intersection posts with a discussion of plot and worldbuilding (You can find the first Creative Intersections post here, and the second one here). Many of you asked for posts that would tie plot to pretty much anything, and as I begin work on the third Thieftaker book, City of Shades, I am still thinking a lot about worldbuilding and research, so this seemed a natural combination. Sort of.
Sometimes, the intersections I discuss in these posts will be fairly obvious. The last one I did — plot and character — is a good example of this. Tying together story arc and character arc is a fairly intuitive thing to do. As our narratives develop, so do our characters, and since so much of our plotting revolves around our characters’ emotional journeys, the relationship just makes sense.
As it turns out, this week’s [...]
Continue reading Creative Intersections: Worldbuilding and Plot
James R. Tuck
Hey hey everybody, nice to see you, glad you could come out. Drinks are in the back,be sure to tip your waitress, she works hard for the money.
I’m James R. Tuck, author of the Deacon Chalk series from Kensington, and I’m the new guy.
I’ve been here before. Faith has been ever so kind to me and allowed me to guest post here when my series launched. I’ve lurked the comments and the posts also because this place rocks. But now, NOW, they’ve given me a key and let me hang my hat.
Muwah ha ha.
Today I’m going to talk to you about story ideas. Not where you get them, if you’re a writer then you have ideas falling out of your pockets when you sit down, but where you get good ideas. You know the ideas, the ones that make you smack yourself for not thinking of [...]
Continue reading THE TWIST (new spins on old stories)
Or I could call this — The InfoDump of Morality
This will be my last infodump post, because I’ve said it all, or enough of it to stop. No one here needs every instance of possible infodump-ery listed and suggestions of ways to avoid it. We are writers. Give us an idea and we can twist it every which way all by ourselves. But I want to make one last (short) note on infodumps, and to me this is a biggie. Morality.
In each fantasy novel, in each fantasy world, we (the writers) incorporate the concept of morality. It may not be by intent, and, in fact, we may desire to avoid the idea of morality in our books entirely. But it always sneaks in.
Sometimes it is the morality of religion, and we keep a handy list of “Thou Shalts” or “Thou Shalt Nots” beside us while we write. Sometimes [...]
Continue reading The Infodump Scene Part Last — Morality
As of December 27, Thieftaker, the first book in my Thieftaker Chronicles, is available as an audio book from Audible.com. The reading was done by Jonathan Davis, who happens to be a friend of A.J.’s who also did the voicings for A.J.’s Will books. If you are one of those people who enjoys listening to audio books as much as you do reading regular books, I hope you’ll check it out.
I don’t listen to a lot of audio books, but I have enjoyed those I’ve heard. I also find, though, that listening to someone read a book tends to highlight for me all the flaws in the writing. This is one of the reasons why I read my own work aloud when I am revising. But it’s a little different when it’s my own book, and it’s too late for me to edit. Yesterday, after a couple of weeks [...]
Continue reading Creative Intersections: Plot and Character Development
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