I admit, this post is a little self-serving. It benefits me if you read more, and if more people read; I am an author, after all. It also might be ineffectual; if you're on this site, reading this blog post, you're probably already a reader, and I don't need to convince you of the benefits and importance of continuing to read - you'll do that, anyway. However, this is not just a creative ploy to present a moralistic argument for why you should really go read more Blood Magic (although you absolutely should do that). Every now and then, I'll be telling a friend about a great book that I just read, or I'll recommend a book, or I'll be telling someone about my own most recent writing efforts, and their response will be something along the lines of "I try not to read anything more complicated than The Very Hungry Caterpillar."
We're a little less than two weeks out from the release of the next Blood Magic episode: Who's Afraid of the Dark? Instead of subjecting you to another of my lengthy, rambling, sometimes off-topic blog posts, I'm instead going to post a preview of that episode to maybe drum up some excitement for Blood Magic. I know that, coming off of writing episode seven, I'm once again excited about writing this series. So, without any further ado, I present Doil in Blood Magic S1:E8.
With a title like that, you’re probably expecting a how to write type of post, walking through the disparate functions, actions, and reactions of the narrative structure. That’s not what it’s going to be about, but I wasn’t able to come up with a better title. I think that you’ll understand once you’ve read it. This is one of my occasional writing philosophy posts, although in this case it’s actually drifting more into the realm of just straight philosophy. The premise: the narrative is the quantum mechanics of human beings.
If you've been writing for awhile, you've probably reached a point in a story where you've had to kill off a character. I don't mean a minor character or a world character who pretty much exists just to die on a main character's sword - I mean a point where the plot and the characterization and the whole story demand that a character you have worked with and developed and followed through thousands of words must die. Maybe you knew this was something that would have to happen from the time you started writing the story, or maybe it was something you weren't expecting before you reached the scene and realized there was no other good choice. Regardless, it's never an easy thing.
It's a question I get all the time: will you ever write an IGC story? A sort of autobiographical account of your time as an agent of the Intergalactic Coalition, with special emphasis on your last six thousand years or so of service here on Earth?
Perhaps it’s not terribly surprising then that I try to avoid introducing contradictions into my fictional worlds. For most of the time that I’ve been writing, I’ve operated in world creation under the premise that contradictions in world-building will drive readers away and make the world less believable. After all, overt contradictions would seem to undermine the idea of plausible impossibility, and leave the reader less immersed in the world. A contradiction can act like a sort of car accident that abruptly stops the flow of traffic and ejects the reader from the story.
It is absolutely essential that we keep our minds open to alternative explanations for the universe in which we live and with which we interact. Just because one explanation is the accepted explanation doesn't mean it is "right" - there may not even be a truly "right" answer to a lot of the deep, probing questions about the universe. If we hew too strongly to a single explanation simply because it is the one that is commonly accepted, then we will inevitably be scoffed at by our ancestors the same way we scoff so readily at those who did not accept Copernicus's teachings.
This is another one of those “why write” posts, where I talk about why I write and why I read. I’d like to address something that I think I’ve alluded to in a few different places on the site or in previous posts, but never really explained fully. Now, everyone writes for different reasons, and everyone reads for different reasons, so by no means am I trying to assert that anything here constitutes some manner of ultimate right or wrong. Which leads nicely into what I actually want to talk about, because I don’t think that we should look to stories to tell us right from wrong.
For all of you who were eagerly anticipating my review of the China book, I’m sorry to disappoint you. It’s a pretty heavy book (after all, there’re several thousand years of history to cover), and it’s taking me longer to get through it than I had hoped. This is not helped by having been rather … Continue reading No Review This Week
It's been awhile since we've posted a writing technique post, so coming off of reading Steering the Craft, it seemed like a good idea to share a little more of my continuing efforts to improve my writing. Specifically, I'd like to talk about points of view, because I realized as I was reading Steering the Craft that I might have been thinking about my POVs incorrectly for years. For those who aren't familiar, POV (point of view) is the literary term for the perspective from which a piece is written.