On Writing Craft Posts, Or Not

freedom to write

It’s been forever and a day since I sat down and wrote a blog post, eh? Whatta slacker.

Well, not quite. I’ve been busy finishing my Ascendancy Trilogy and starting a new series (I’ll spill the beans about it soon). I’ve also done a giant overhaul of my career plan, writing process, brand, you name it. And I binge watched, like, 5 different series in 2 months, and read 30 books over the summer, so shuddup. 😛

Now, here’s the thing:

The more I write and the more I learn about the craft, the more I understand how little I actually know about the intricacies of powerful fiction.

Before I even finished my first book—when I was wading through my endless revisions—I was putting up one blog post after another about the craft of writing fiction. Not because I ever felt like a genius who needs to teach others “the way,” but because I was very intensely preoccupied with the nitty gritty of the writing process.

Cartman drivingIt’s just like when you first learn to drive. You pay an inordinate amount of attention to every single thing you do: where you hold your hands on the steering wheel, where your feet are, what gear you’re in (if it’s a manual transmission), what the sign means that you just drove past, and where’s the damn blinker? Which one’s the break?? OMG was that a squirrel? Noo!!

As you gain experience and drive more often, you keep improving and you pay less and less attention to each specific movement. And then you get to the point where you’ve been driving for an hour, thinking about your next story, and you have no recollection of the road or any of the hundreds of things you did while you crossed the city.

Now, I’m not saying I’ve gotten awesome at driving writing this past year (I’m still miles away from doing drag races or pulling off my own, unique stunts), but I’m also no longer paying attention to every single detail as I go. And I no longer feel the need to constantly split hairs and debate everything.

I’ve read a shitton of craft books. I’m always reading one or another, often several at the same time. And now that I’ve switched to writing SFR I have a whole new set of guidelines and tools to explore and appropriate, so I’m reading a whole new shitton of writing craft books. I find that I’m absorbing writing advice much faster and better than I did as a total greenhorn, and I’m developing something akin to a “writing instinct.” I can feel if something I’m learning will fit my goals and writing style, or if it would bog my stories down. I can smell it in the air when a certain skill could take my stories to the next level, or take them astray. And while this is invaluable information, it’s only meaningful to me, to my particular storytelling style and the direction I’m going in, and would mostly be useless chatter to the internet at large.

So I’ve pretty much given up writing craft advice posts, at least for the foreseeable future.

What I can blog about, however, what I can share and discuss and actually entertain you with, or perhaps even tickle your muse with, is—

Storyworld Design

A Storyworld is the sum total of the fictional circumstances in which a story takes place.

It’s the physical setting in which the characters operate, the historical context of the story’s current events, and the emotional framework which supports the characters’ actions and decisions. All of these have a major impact on how a story is best told, how it evolves, both logically and dramatically, and how it will impact the readers. Not to mention, how cool it is. 😉

I won’t try to “teach” anyone anything about how to best design their storyworld. I’m not a writing coach in any way.

But I will do my best to illuminate the way I tackle storyworld development, to stimulate your speculative side, and to generally geek out over the awesome science bits we’ll manipulate to serve a higher purpose: entertainment.

So over the following months I’ll be talking about SF worldbuilding, technological setup, character backstory, ramification of events, and much more. Looking forward to it!

8 Replies to “On Writing Craft Posts, Or Not”

  1. “I’m developing something akin to a “writing instinct.” I can feel if something I’m learning will fit my goals and writing style, or if it would bog my stories down.”

    I like the way you put that, Veronica. That’s what SHOULD happen when you write and study and write some more. You look back and see that you are operating at a whole other level…and you’ll never fall off that level. Nice.

    So…onward.

    Like

    1. Thanks for the kind words, Jim!

      The couple of thresholds I’ve passed this last year (publishing my first book, then writing & publishing the first finished series/trilogy) have really taught me a lot. About the craft, the discipline and process of writing as a constant occupation, not just a sporadic hobby, about the market, the mindset of an authorpreneur—soooo many things.

      Your writing & mindset advice has always been very close to my heart, and an invaluable help in understanding how things work. I’m sure I’ve told you, but I’ll gladly say it again: Thank You! 🙂

      The Mental Game of Writing” is part of that “shitton of writing books” I’m currently reading, by the way. I keep nodding at my ereader and highlighting things. It reads like the compressed carbon form of all general indie wisdom. 😉

      Like

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