Jay Lake: Writer

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[process] Rules of Writing (meme)

Because all the cool kids are doing it.

I only have one rule of writing. Everything else is a guideline. Sort of like the Pirate Code.

  1. Write more.

Which is to say, whatever you’re doing, do more of it.

I do have several strong guidelines.

  • Write something every week. (A story, a chapter, something discrete and measurable.)
  • Finish everything you start. (I suspect more nascent careers fail here than anywhere else. How many unfinished stories and novels do you have? If you don’t finish it, you can’t revise, market and sell it. Period.)
  • Don’t self-critique while you’re writing. (For a lot of folks, this may be the root cause of the previous issue. It doesn’t matter if the piece is crap. You’re probably wrong, as the writer is the worst judge of their own work. And besides, you can always revise.)
  • Work on one thing at a time. (In my case, a novel, a short story, a collab and a nonfiction project can all run in parallel. But if I work on two of the same thing, the voice bleeds over and I lose track of continuity.)

That’s all I got. What would you add?

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[meme] Fifth sentence, page 123

I’m not so much with the memes any more, for the most part, but in this case the result was so funny I went with it. I’ve been tagged by Matt Staggs to grab any book, go to page 123, find the fifth sentence, and blog it. Then tag five people.

So I grabbed the first book I could find that a) wasn’t written by me, and b) I had bought on purpose. (I get sent a lot of books in the mail.)

“I repeat: do you really believe this is crap?”
The Throne of Saturn, Alan Drury, Doubleday, 1970

Is that a question an author wants their readers asking themselves?

Tagging:

autopope
ericjamesstone
frankwu
lordofallfools
matociquala

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