Thursday, May 27, 2010

Why Space?

"Why space?" my teenage daughter asked as we sat on the couch and I talked about my latest story. "It's always space, rockets, other planets, and the search for aliens that - by the way - your characters never find."

I answered my normal spiel about H.G. Wells, possibilities, unknowns, new frontier and all the other jazz. Later in bed, though, the question really hit me on a more internal note...

Why space?

Yeah, H.G. Wells was a really groovy guy with awesome cool stories. The man certainly triggered my writing and fueled my love of reading. I was a book addict who read all kinds of genres. Thrillers, horrors, spy books, newspapers, magazines, historical, and non-fiction. Hell, why not my second favorite genre, murder mystery?

Of course, being who I am (anal-over-internalizing-nut) I fretted over the darn thing. I fell asleep thinking - or over thinking to be more accurate - about the why of it.

Then, I dreamed.

Space travelling expedition, being caught by roving pirates, fighting our way out, stealing a smaller shuttle, landing on a planet and finding a reclusive colony of hybrid humans...

When I woke up, excited about my recent space travels, I knew why it's space. Because that's where my soul is waiting to be...I'm just a few life cycles short of my true reality.

Good writing (and dreaming) all!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Quickie: Devoured Planet!

A sci-fi lover's dream!
A planet being eaten in distant space. I have this childlike, face-scrunching desire to see the real images but an artist's recreation will suffice for now.

Check out the article here Devoured Planet

And just because it's sooo cool...I've put in the NASA artist's rendering of the "situation".

Good writing all!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Diamonds into Suns

I love the building of a story and not just the initial pouring of ideas onto paper. That's all good and great, but anyone can get a brainstormed idea and write it on paper. The real mastery and love of a writer's work comes after.

The ability to look at the initial draft and instead of seeing a great story...can only spot the flaws and bad bits. Then, in true writer's fashion takes the story and molds it like clay: moving, tweaking, and reshaping until the flaws sparkle and the bad bits are gone.

Even then, it's not enough. They look at the revised work and see the implausible and unforeseen gaps in these character's story. At this point, only the most dedicated of writers will roll up their already wrinkled sleeves, wipe their brow of sweat, and dive back in.

They'll remove whole sections of unbelievability (even if some is of the most loved word usage) , delve further into the intricate of needed research to get the details just right, and turn that shiny diamond into a burning sun of perfection.

They'll know the manuscript is complete and that a part of them is in the story so completely they'll never get it back, even if it never gets published or seen by anyone but them and their beta readers.

Good writing all!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Benefits of Short Flights

I'm off to my business trip and headed to the airport in a few minutes. The plan:

To keep my laptop closed and manually edit, edit, edit.

The benefit of flying only a short distance is that you don't really have the time or inclination to turn the laptop on (unless you're a putz who wants to look really important...). So, I've printed several chapters and am prepared with a blood pen to scratch, claw, and rip my way through the flight. Hopefully what's left in this carnage will be great revisions for the evening in my hotel room.

Wish me luck and good writing to all!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Many Faces of Editing

Well, I'm at home with a hiking injury so I'm devoting today to editing. (What the heck else am I going to do?) I'm not talking the first phase, where I just hit the Spellcheck button. No, I'm way beyond that phase...oh, wait. Have I talked to you all about my loosely defined phases of editing?

Muawahahahahaha! Okay, here we go. Come join the crazy world that is AR.

Phase 1: Denial Editing. "I just finished this wonderful masterpiece. All it needs is a quick spell check and it's off to the races of submission wars." (After this phase I put it away for a couple weeks to fight off the early-submission urge.)

Phase 2: Awareness Editing. "I know this is perfect, but just let me check to make sure...Uh, that didn't come out quite how I'd hoped...that either. What the Wisconsin?" (After this phase I am usually ego deflated and put the manuscript away in shame for a couple weeks.)

Phase 3: Revelation Editing. "Let's pull this work of crap out and see what I can make of it...oh, those changes did make this better. If I just change these little'll be perfect again." (After this phase, I'm heading towards the happy part of writing again.)

Phase 4: Final Touches. "It's finished...but why can't I tell the difference between you're and your or there and their when I'm in full writing mode?"

So, there are my 4 loosely defined phases of editing. Usually phase 2 and 3 are rinsed and repeated several times before reaching phase 4.

Good writing all!