Monday, June 25, 2012

Back to Dagobah

So, now that the book is out, and I'm spending a good amount of time trying to promote it, I've realized that I haven't done any new writing recently.

If you've been following along thus far, you may recall that I set two goals for 2012 - # 1 was to release the collection (check!) and #2 was to get the first draft of a novel under my belt.

What I didn't count on, though it's happened before, is the weird feeling of creative exhaustion that seems to take me over after I've finished something major. Every time I end a story that's taken longer than two or three weeks to finish, I find that I just have no mind left to switch to something else. It's like that right now, having done the book.

This obviously can't continue, as the only way that you get any better at writing is to keep writing. Since it's my sincerest wish to become "good" at this, I therefore need to keep writing. 

I couldn't in good conscience use a
pic of Yoda spinning around like a green
Sonic the Hedgehog.
As of right now, I've been picking away at little challenges, like oneword. What is really helping though, is going back and reading some of the great books on the craft that I have, like John Gardner's The Art of Fiction, Robert McKee's Story, and (of course) On Writing. That's where the title of today's post comes from  - I feel a need to get back in touch with some of the tools of the craft, and find places in story telling that I haven't worked on enough to call them my own yet.

Because reading isn't writing, my tentative plan for the immediate future is to read a little of these guides, and then sit down and write for awhile. A page a day seems within the realm of possibility, so that will be my benchmark.

In the meantime I’ll still be doing some book-promote-y things. At the moment I’ve got two tentative blog-stops to talk about the collection (and please do contact me if you’d like to be the third!) and I’m trying to get some other vehicles moving as well.

More news as it happens. 


Take that adverbs!

Oh – there IS one more thing. Who wants to do a Shootout with me?

Martin T. Ingham, one of the mods at Pill Hill Press, and an impressively accomplished Sci-Fi writer in his own right, is doing a writer’s shootout in July. If you’ve never done one, it’s a team-based writing competition. There’s usually either two or three teams of five writers, and four rounds of writing. You write a story in a week, then take a week to review the other team’s stories (at random, no names are attached). Points are awarded. The format changes from time to time, but usually after round three, people get eliminated, and those with the most points go on.

What you need to know – shootouts are tremendous fun, and you always end up with a great amount of useable (and unpublished) material!

If you’re interested, here’s the link. You’ll need to register for the forum, and take it from there. It’s first come/first served, and 100% of what you need to know is posted on the forum. Hope to see some of you there!


  1. Funny enough, I'm just reading 'On Writing Horror' myself. I'm finding it awesome.

    Finishing your novel is a big achievement, you deserve a little down time. Congratulations!

  2. Thanks Deborah. It's a short story collection - but parts of it certainly felt epic and novel-like while I was writing them, let alone the selection and paring process to choose my final line-up!

    I appreciate the visit. :)