Greetings from Calgary: Post-Con Report

DavidBCoeDavidBCoe

Greetings from Calgary, Alberta! I am writing this Sunday afternoon, after a wonderful week of work at WhenWordsCollide and the pre-convention writer’s workshop.

Yes, that’s right: I said “work.” John’s post from the other day, on which I didn’t comment, but which I have read, is spot on. Conventions are work. They are super fun — I love meeting fans, working with other professionals, renewing old friendships and beginning new ones. And after 16 years as a published author I am nowhere close to being tired of having people ask if I’ll sign their copies of my books. To be honest, I’m always shocked when people apologize for approaching me, as if it’s an imposition.

But right now, after leading the workshop for two days and being one of the con’s guests of honor, I’m exhausted. It’s not that talking about writing or doing readings is that tiring. But […]

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I’LL SHOW YOU NOT TELLING (something I read somewheres)

James R. Tuck

So I picked up a book called THE FIRST 50 PAGES by Jeff Gerke the other day because, well, I have a book buying problem. (TBR pile is 68 at last count and I KNOW I’ve gotten a ton more books since then)

Anyways, I wanted to share some advice he gives that to me seemed pretty golden.

Here’s the sum up:

Think of your book as a movie. Telling is anything you write that THE CAMERA DOES NOT SEE.

Stop and think about it.

Let it sink in.

I know how we writers are. We feel like the reader needs to know all the back story to really understand what we are trying to write….the ins and outs of the plot, the history and texture of the worlds and characters we have created so lovingly.

It’s bullshit.

They don’t. They don’t need to know anything that doesn’t directly […]

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GET TO THE POINT (or the joy of writing succinctly)

James R. Tuck

Hey hey folks. Hope you are doing well.

After my last post here I want to give what may seem to be a counterpoint piece of advice. Last time I waxed philosophical about metaphor and the long strung description that give lyrical beauty to your writing.

All of that holds true.

Today, however, I want to talk about writing concisely.

We writer folks love our words. We think in words and when we write (especially first drift) we tend to go overboard, stuffing our sentences with every cool little adverb and adjective we can find. Oftentimes we are writing to make everything as clear to the reader as we can, really wanting them to be able to see the room we are describing. Our characters walk into a bar and we want to tell the reader how big the bar is, what kind of decorations there are on the wall, […]

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THE METAPHOR OF THE THING (or, getting my Cormac McCarthy on)

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, […]

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THE TWIST (new spins on old stories)

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 […]

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