0jack: Closeup of Boba Fett's helmet, angular orange stripe surrounding a narrow window on a greenish metallic field. (Default)
[personal profile] 0jack
Some writing advice from Robin McKinley for your consideration:
http://robinmckinley.com/faq/faq.php?q_id=11

One of the biggest, and possibly the biggest, obstacle to becoming a writer -- I've said this from a slightly different angle in another answer -- is learning to live with the fact that the wonderful story in your head is infinitely better, truer, more moving, more fascinating, more perceptive, than anything you're going to manage to get down on paper.


An animated image of the main characters of Sponge Bob Square Pants who all leave the frame, one at a time.The image to your left is not necessarily related to the article on offer. Instead, it is a comment on my muses, inspiration, and ability to focus. *g* I only wanted to put a picture in. :)

This poll is having a slow day. )

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0jack: Closeup of Boba Fett's helmet, angular orange stripe surrounding a narrow window on a greenish metallic field. (Default)
[personal profile] 0jack
It seems to me that this repetition—which is, at its best, a kind of productive thickening and entanglement of a central cluster of themes—comes from the same source as so much that is good and bad in art: obsession. One of the presiding book review clichés is that of the “artist in full control of her powers.” But this kind of formulation ignores the artists whose “powers” seem to be in control of them. There’s something enthralling, in other words, about a novelist who seems to be writing not so much individual and self-contained novels as successive installments in a single, ongoing, and compulsive work of art.

Abstract detail of spiralling stairs in neutral colours.Whether I want to or not, I keep coming back to the same themes in my work. Sometimes I think everyone does, the only difference is that some people see it and delve into it. Another author who'd been asked to blurb a book by a popular writer once told me that they wanted to say: "$NAME has written their book again. As always, it is very good." It was funny because it was true and also because I think we knew we were all a little guilty of it.

Over time, I've grown to like that I come back to the same themes and questions. It took me a long time to be aware of them, though. I didn't see it until I'd built up enough completed works to identify the things that they had in common. Now, I do it on purpose. I want to go back and write "my book" again. Like climbing a spiral staircase, I pass the same point over and over, but that's not the same as failing to progress.

This poll feels repetitious )
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0jack: Closeup of Boba Fett's helmet, angular orange stripe surrounding a narrow window on a greenish metallic field. (Default)
[personal profile] 0jack
We should do something cool at the end of the month but I don't know what that is yet. So. Instead, I will link you to this illustration of Neil Gaiman's "Make Good Art" speech: http://zenpencils.com/comic/50-neil-gaiman-make-good-art/

I love this at the same time that I'm aware that the ability to do this is precisely what gets stolen from us by depression, stress, ADHD, fibromyalgia, and other conditions. I think that's the most bitter, unfair part for me, that when I need to most, I cannot "make good art". I can't even "make BAD art". Maybe there's some round about route to reach art and writing in those times, but I don't know it yet. Maybe the first step is only to take "good" out of the equation and see what comes. The second step, I don't know.

Is art, or writing, a panacea for you?

This poll says to take two muses and call it in the morning )

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0jack: Closeup of Boba Fett's helmet, angular orange stripe surrounding a narrow window on a greenish metallic field. (Default)
[personal profile] 0jack
Three teens, two girls in hoodies and a boy in a t-shirt, sit together on a red spiral slide. "Write what you know" is another one of those lies that comes between "damn lies" and "the cake". It sounds good, but it's damning. For me, often, writing what I don't know is the entire point. I want to know what's on the other side. I also write what I shouldn't write about, what I was told not to say. I saw something recently that said "write what you wonder about", which is closer to realistic. How about we go with "write what you want"?

This comes around because I was thinking about resources and research and my recent interest in writing YA. If I wrote what I knew about that time in life, it wouldn't be something I'd want teens—anyone, really—to read. So, in order to go there, I have to research. I have to learn.

http://rookiemag.com/ is my latest addition to my resource reading list. http://www.scarleteen.com/ has always been a place I supported, now I read the letters to hear the voices speaking. I read Tumblr. I really a little other YA, but mostly that written by authors close to that age range.

At some point, I have to quit researching and jump. We all do. But refusing to simply "write what you know" is the only way we'll resist stagnation.

This poll has a lot to learn )
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