Be wise. Be brave. Be tricky. (slithytove) wrote,
Be wise. Be brave. Be tricky.

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Writers of the Future workshop, part 5

More Tim Powers and Kathy Wentworth (? date; my notes are unclear)

Helpful to have protagonist be from elsewhere than the story setting, so the reader can learn about the setting as the protagonist does, rather than "As you know, Bob..." [PM: example, Ted Chiang's "Tower of Babylon", in which the POV character has never seen the tower before, and everything has to be explained to him, or discovered spontaneously by him.]

TP and KW: Find twenty or thirty things that are "too cool not to use", then arrange them into a story.

KW: "you never know what you want until Fred finds it." (Fred == subconscious)

Mine historical fiction for culture, history, maps, etc.

8/18/05: Kevin Anderson and Rebecca Moesta

[PM: if some of this repeats what KW and TP said, it's partly because KA and RM appeared on 8/18, and hadn't been there for KW and TP's sessions earlier in the week.]

Write every day.

KA takes walks with a tape recorder and dictates chapters. (Has a typist for transcription.)

"Defy the empty page." When stuck, write anything. If you get really stuck, type XXX, and come back and fix it later.

"Dare to be bad." Defy your internal editor, just get something down, and fix it later.

KA works on six different projects at a time.

Use every minute: don't not write because you only have 10 or 20 minutes at a time. Use those times to write.

Set goals and stick with them: N pages a day.

Know when to stop, send it out, and move on to the next project.

Create a good writing environment.

In dealing with your writing peers, be professional, don't be a jerk. People remember. If you get an assignment for an anthology, do it on time and within spec. Do not feud with people. 

Do not write to thank reviewers who liked your book. It will be taken as pandering/sucking up.

Whatever the project you're working on, do your best work.

Be friendly with everyone, especially at your publisher's. [cf: the old advice that a date who is nice to you, but not nice to the waiter, is not a nice person.]

Don't take rejection personally. KA got 80 rejection slips before he sold anything.

Know your business. Read Publisher's Weekly regularly.

Keep track of your business dealings/bookeeping/etc. Don't try to leave it all to someone else.

Publicity: Ads are expensive. Try to get someone to write an article about you.

Sheer talent does not ensure success. Be persistent. "A decent writer who is persistent will succeed, a brilliant writer who is not, won't."

Hang out with people who want to go where you're going. I.e., people who are serious about publishing professionally and are at about your same level of achievement.

Jerry Pournelle, 8/18/05

Depressing news about publishing: "It's kind of grim out there."

If you're doing a publicity event, do not make your interviewer look foolish: word will spread.

Do not be reluctant to do publicity at minor venues—little radio stations, minor bookstores—luck favors the prepared, etc. [Followed with an anecdote about a series of linked, very minor publicity visits, that, because of serendipity and a slow news day, happened to result in Pournelle and Niven becoming very well known in (?)Houston, and selling a surprising number of books there ever since.]

Uses Spectrum Literary Agency

Recommends a tablet PC and Microsoft OneNote software.

Recommends reading Aristotle's Poetics. [PM: Jeff Ford, at Clarion, also recommended this. Crap. I printed it out, still haven't read it. I suck.]

In deciding what to cut, read your prose aloud. If it doesn't read smoothly, cut it. If in doubt, write standard English (rather than slangy, hip, etc.). "No one gets mad if you use good grammar."

"We're after Joe's beer money." — Robert A. Heinlein. I.e., Joe has a choice for his discretionary income. If we want him to buy our fiction, we have to provide him more fun than if he chooses the alternative. We are competing with beer, movies, bass boats, WoW twink gear, etc.

Recommends Empires of the Word: A Language History of the World.

Robert Sawyer, 8/18/05

[30 min talk and quiz imploring close attention to POV.] Your most used POV is going to be third person limited. "Can your character testify in court to what was experienced in your scene? If you are writing true third person POV, they will be able to."

There was a handout, which was mainly the material on this page.

And that's mainly it for the WotF workshop. Maybe some drabbles in the near future, but that was the main stuff.

Cat Sparks and newroticgirl have posted WotF pics.


meaning: cocoon

繭玉 == mayudama == (noun) a New Year's decoration with cocoon-shaped cakes
繭糸 == kenshi ==  (noun) silk thread

Left inner radical is 'thread' (糸), right inner radical is 'insect' (虫). Top radical is 'grass/plant' Henshall suggests taking the double-interior radical as a 'double chambered cocoon', and as a mnemonic: 'Insect threads double cocoon under grass.'

Info from Taka Kanji Database
List of compounds including this character from Risu Dictionary

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