So I’m putting off real work again, but discovering that I have 60 drafts hanging around on WP is as good an excuse as any. I’m down to the last three chapters of what was supposed to be the final edit of Camp Expendable. But so many notes have accumulated that I need to evaluate and decide whether they’d be worth the trouble of adding in. That would mean another round or two of edits. Can I face that? As long as the book isn’t what I hoped it would be, I’ll have to. Maybe somewhere in those notes is the detail that will be the magic key.
Procrastination! While I’m in the process of weeding out some of those old drafts, I might as well pass on a few of the thoughts they began with.
- Golden halos don’t really brush off. When you’re writing that all-important blurb, comparing your book to x, x, and x is the surest way to signal that you have no voice of your own.
- How much can your hero suffer? People stop reading books for all kinds of reasons. Bad writing, cardboard characters, dumb plot. But I’ve learned that they may also stop reading because you’ve given them a protagonist they like and sympathize with — and then hurt so badly that they just can’t deal with it. Do you need to find a balance, or should you just put your hero through whatever suffering fate seems to be decreeing, or the story needs?
- I am, by temperament, a bridge burner. Sometimes that’s a very good thing, and other times, it doesn’t work out so well. What’s most important is the willingness to accept the consequences.
- To what extent does the trackable data about our lives enable interested parties to determine who we are and what we want, and use that to their advantage? And how can we manipulate the image that is supposedly who we are, to our own advantage? How can we, as writers, explore the implications of data collection and interpretation in our fiction? The important question: Should we manipulate our data, if it’s to our advantage?
- I don’t write books that will ever be best sellers. I don’t aim to earn a living as a writer. I’m not, in any sense of the word, a professional writer. I write for the love of it — translating ideas into stories, bringing characters to life. But I don’t write just for the love of it. I want readers. I want to see some concrete benefit from spending hours and brain cells creating the books. Above all, I want to be a better writer than I am today, and even better on down the line.