The Life Story of a Short Story

AlexandersOdyssey9Hello.  I’m a short story.  Since Poseidon’s Scribe never got around to blogging about the whole short story process, he invited me to guest blog today.  My title is “Alexander’s Odyssey,” and I was written by Steven R. Southard.  My life story is typical of other tales, and might be obvious to many of you, but the steps weren’t clear to Steve when he started.

Idea1.  Idea.  I started as an idea.  You did too, I suppose, but with stories you only need one human with an idea, if you know what I mean.  Getting a story idea isn’t as difficult as most believe.  Ideas are all around you.

Outline2.  Outline.  This can take many forms, not just the standard I-A-1-a-(1) type.  It can be a mind-map, for example.  An outline can keep you focused as you write, but don’t be afraid to deviate from it if the story takes off in a different direction.  Steve used an outline for me, but if you don’t want to, just skip this step.

Research3.  Research.  You might have to conduct research for your story like Steve did for me.  Use the most authoritative sources you can.  Steve didn’t include all the researched data when writing me, just a tiny fraction.  You might enjoy research, but don’t get stuck at this stage.  At some point, enough is enough.

First draft4.  First Draft.  Steve wrote my first draft fast, without caring about quality.  He didn’t even stop to correct typos.  He got it all down, the emotions, the drama, and the character interactions.

Edits5.  Edit.  Steve did several drafts of me where he corrected typos; deleted extraneous stuff; added in foreshadowing, metaphors, similes, and symbolism, etc.  Don’t get stuck at this stage either; some stories never even get submitted.

Submit6.  Submit.  Steve located a suitable market, and had to modify me a bit to conform to the submission guidelines.  After much hesitation, he submitted me.   These days, you writers have the option of self-publishing us stories, so you could skip this step.

Reject7.  Rejection.  Actually, I didn’t get rejected the first time, but I know the feeling.  I don’t understand why writers take rejection so personally; the editor is rejecting me, not you.  Just shake it off and submit your story to some other market.  Keep us moving!

Accept8.  Accept.  I was pretty happy when an anthology editor accepted me, but Steve was positively giddy.  I’d never seen him so thrilled and, frankly, the details are embarrassing, so I’ll just move on.

Rewrite9.  Rewrite.  The editor suggested Steve change me a bit.  He agreed the changes would do me good, and made them.  I’ve seen Steve agonize over suggested changes to other stories, though.  I’ve even seen him push back against the editor.  In the end, they always reach agreement and Steve signs the contracts.  I guess he could always refuse and walk away if he wanted.

Launch10.  Launch.  These days, publishers don’t just publish us, they launch us.  It does make me feel like a rocket going off, sort of.  Again, Steve seems really happy when a story launches, and again it’s awkward to watch.

Market11.  Market.  If I’d been picked up by one of the top publishing houses, they’d spread the word about me.  Steve didn’t send me there, so he had to do it.  Boy, does he hate that part, though I’ve heard some authors like marketing.  Use social media, newsletters, writing conferences—anything to advertise.

Read12.  Read.  My favorite step.  When a reader buys me and reads me cover to cover, that’s what I live for.

Reprint13.  Reprint.  When the rights to me reverted back to Steve, he submitted me for publication as a reprint.  After three rejects, another market accepted me, but asked for significant changes.  My reprint version states where and when I was published the first time.

Spin-off14.  Spin-off.  Oh, I hope, I hope I can get spun-off into a novel, a play, or even a movie.  Hey, a story can dream, can’t it?

That’s my story.  Forget about Steve, or Poseidon’s Scribe.  Address your comments to—

                                            Alexander’s Odyssey

Please follow and like me:
December 8, 2013Permalink

Is Your First Draft Terrible Enough?

That’s not a typo; I’m questioning whether the first draft of your story is horrible, trashy, and amateurish enough to qualify as a first draft.  I’m not talking about cacography here, I’m talking about tripe, drivel, bunkum.

Yes, I know all writers are different and for some, their first draft is their publishable, final draft.  Isaac Asimov said he didn’t re-write his stories.  But I’m guessing that doesn’t work for most writers, especially beginning writers.

For most of you, here’s my advice:  set out to write a bad first draft.  Why?  I’ll explain.

The first draft is unlike all later ones in that it has no predecessor, just a blank screen (or page) and a writer’s mind buzzing with ideas.  That moment before you write the first word is a daunting one; the task seems mountainous.  Often that story idea in your head seems so perfect, you just know readers will love it.

But when you try writing down that idea, it looks so awful it’s embarrassing.  The text falls far short of the shining, crystalline structure in your mind.  You can get so frustrated you’ll be tempted to abandon the whole stupid idea.  “What was I thinking?  I’m no writer!”

I’m suggesting it’s best to admit up front your first draft will be garbage.  That way you’re establishing reasonable expectations and lessening the frustration.  Trust in your ability to improve the first draft later.  Accept that those later revisions will be easier than writing the first draft; you will get closer to the ideal story in your mind.

How do you write a first draft that qualifies as pure dreck?  Think of your writing mind as having at least four component parts, four people with distinct attributes.  These are your muse, your playful inner child, your squint-eyed editor, and your glad-handing marketer.

I’ve described the muse before.  By the time you’re writing your first draft, her job is done and she’s left town.  Think of your squinty-eyed editor as a scowling old man with an eyeshade and a huge supply of blue pencils.  Send this editor on vacation now.  Trust me, he’ll come back well-rested to help you with your second draft.  As to that ever-smiling, extroverted marketer with the plaid suit, he’s on vacation most of the time and that’s okay for now.

215px-Big_PosterLet’s focus on the one I left out, the playful inner child.  I suggest you picture the character Josh Baskin, played by Tom Hanks in the 1988 movie “Big.”  He was pure drive, energy, and enthusiasm.  He had no inhibitions, no taboos, and no fear of failure.

Channel that character as you write your first draft.  Strive to get in the zone, in the flow.  If you find yourself momentarily stuck, write down what you will need later to get past the sticky part, put that in brackets (or different font or color, whatever), and move on.  For example, knowing how important the opening hook is, let’s say you can’t think of one.  Just write “[come up with hook]” and write on.  Chances are the words you write next might serve as a hook, or a hook will occur to you later.  Don’t stop to do research now, just bracket it, “[Do whales really get hiccups?],” and look it up later.

Even though your first draft is a stinking pile of compost, you’ll feel better about having something written down, something you can now work with.  Further, by writing in burst mode, you can maintain a consistent, integrated work that maintains the same tone and voice throughout.

More great first draft advice is available here, here, and here.  By the way, do you think this blog post is poorly written?  Ha!  You should have seen the first draft typed up by—

                                                     Poseidon’s Scribe

Please follow and like me:

What the Web Wrought on Writing

We still live near the dawn of the Internet Age, of course, so it’s perhaps a bit early to assess the web’s impact on writing.  But here goes, anyway…

First, it’s instructive to recall the past technological developments that aided fiction writers, or allowed them to better connect with paying readers.  Here’s a partial list:  libraries, bookbinding, printing presses, mass production of paper, mail delivery, bookstores, dictionaries, typewriters, computer word processors, and eBooks.  Each of these innovations aided storytellers in significant ways.

(By the way, I’m aware of the difference between the ‘Internet’ and the ‘World Wide Web.’  Even so, they’re intertwined enough that I’ll use the terms interchangeably.)

I would argue the Internet’s impact on writing is (and will be) as great as any of those previous technologies.  It’s true, those who created the Internet did not have authors specifically in mind.  But some of the Internet’s attributes have eased the processes involved in the writing business:

  • Span.  The Internet covers the world; and to a greater extent every day, it is spanning all of human history; and encompassing a larger fraction of all human knowledge.
  • Search and Retrieval.  Internet search engines provide a way to sift through the vastness and find desired, specific information, no matter how obscure.
  • Permanence.  To some extent, the Internet represents a permanent record.  I believe the way data is stored and backed up renders far less likely a tragedy such as the destruction of the ancient Alexandrian Library.
  • Speed.  Everything you can do on the Internet, you can do fast, much faster than using the mail, or hunting through a library.
  • Availability.  The Internet is within reach of nearly everyone, and at very low cost.

In short, the web eases the way people connect to information and to other people.  The sudden ease of those connections has been a boon to writers.

Here are some ways the web has improved several steps of the writing process:

  • Research.  It is far easier for writers to research specific topics using the Internet.  There are gaps in the web, of course, and problems with accuracy of information, so trips to the library remain necessary on occasion.
  • Co-authorship.  E-mail makes it easier to collaborate with another writer when both are contributing to a book.
  • Critiquing.  It’s no longer necessary to find other writers in your local area to get your manuscripts critiqued.
  • Market searches.  Websites like Duotrope, Ralan, and Doug Smith’s Foreign Market List make it much easier to compile a prioritized list of ideal markets for each of your stories.
  • Submitting.  Most markets take online submissions, either through e-mail or their own online form.  Much faster and less costly than mailing.
  • Publishing.  As with many other businesses, the Internet has allowed people to quickly form small businesses operating out of their homes.  This has resulted in a proliferation of publishers.
  • Advertising.  The advent of websites, blogging, and social networking has opened up new ways for authors to reach readers.
  • Book-shopping.  For readers, the Internet’s search features and various online booksellers have eased the process of browsing for the next book to read, no matter how obscure the reader’s interests.
  • Reviewing.  Online bookselling sites have made it easy for anyone to post a book review.  These reviews help other readers make their purchasing decisions.

The Internet has helped writers in every way except one.  It won’t write your book for you!  And maybe that’s a good thing.  Still writing my own stories, I’m—

                                                          Poseidon’s Scribe

 

Please follow and like me:
September 30, 2012Permalink

Writing and the Outlier Theory

In a previous blog post, I mentioned Malcolm Gladwell and his book Outliers: The Story of Success.  In it, he explored why some people seem to stand out as geniuses in their fields–what made them so good?  His conclusion was that success requires two things:  (1) Luck, and (2) 10,000 hours of practice.

There’s not much we can do about luck.  Gladwell suggested it was a matter of being born at the right time and being exposed to the right influences.  When it comes to luck, you either have it or you don’t.  If you have it, ride that wave, baby.  If you don’t, well, reconcile yourself to the fact that not all books sold are written by the greatest writers of all time.  And know this, too:  there’s no way of knowing in advance whether you are lucky.  Only time will tell.

Although we can’t alter our luck, we can do something about the 10,000 hours.  Well, not shorten it, I’m afraid.  But we can accomplish it.  We can devote ourselves to it.  If you spend 10,000 hours honing your skill at one thing, it’s highly likely you’ll become good at it.  Perhaps not great, but good.  And you may grow to enjoy that activity, such that the idea of the next 10,000 hours doesn’t frighten you, but thrills you.

Gladwell goes on to discuss what the 10,000 hours should consist of.  Many of those hours should be devoted to freeform play where failure has a low cost.  There should be a lot of experimentation and attempts at trying out different approaches without any external criticism.  Examples he gives in his book include hockey players, musicians, and computer pioneers.  But you can see how his theory applies to writers.

For writers, the 10,000 hours is spent mostly alone, writing.  The freeform play consists of many attempts at stories of different types, many drafts that get discarded, many early tales of poor quality.  The 10,000 hours should include some study as well–research into the mechanics of writing, research into how great writers plied their craft.

At this point you might be thinking of examples of great writers who didn’t have to spend 10,000 hours perfecting their skills.  Okay, there might be a handful.  And you might end up being one.  If so, great!  But do you really think you should assume that you’re going to be one of that very rare breed that achieves greatness without a lot of work?

Yes, I’ve done the math.  I know that if you can only devote three hours a day to writing, you won’t reach 10,000 hours for over nine years.  But for most of us, there’s just no way around that.  And you need to remember that much of those 10,000 hours are spent in enjoyable play.  It needn’t be all drudgery.

So those 10,000 hours won’t happen by themselves.  If you want to be an author, get moving.  The clock’s ticking and the calendar’s flipping.  Oh, and if you know some sure-fire shortcut, please send it to–

                                                      Poseidon’s Scribe

Please follow and like me:
September 11, 2011Permalink

How to Create Life (in fiction)

In what way are all fiction writers like Dr. Frankenstein?  Answer:  we’re all creating life.  Mary Shelley’s famous character is a better metaphor for my purposes than the phrase “playing God,” because, like the Transylvanian experimenter, we have models to copy from — all the people we see and meet.

The problem is, as Dr. Frankenstein found out, creating life is difficult.  Some writers are better at giving readers a vivid mental picture of their characters than others.  What are the factors involved in creating believable, memorable characters?

Linda Seger answers that question well in her book Creating Unforgettable Characters, which I recommend.  Her technique for coming up with great characters is to (1) research the character, (2) create a backstory, (3) understand the character’s psychology, (4) create character relationships, and (5) develop the character’s dialogue voice.  The book also contains great advice regarding the development of supporting characters, nonrealistic characters, the use of stereotype, and how to solve the character problems you may experience as a writer.

Back in the 1800s, authors could furnish long descriptions of their characters, giving readers all the necessary details for understanding them.  Readers stopped putting up with that many decades ago.  Writers had to learn to imbed snatches of character descriptions into the action and dialogue as seamlessly as possible.  No more “time-outs” from the plot to devote a few paragraphs to the heroine’s matching dress and parasol.

Then writers found a technique for describing their main character’s physical appearance while remaining in that character’s point of view.  Simply have the character stare at a mirror or other reflective surface.  Sorry, modern writers don’t get to do that either; it’s been way too overused.

Complicating matters more, short story writers just don’t have enough space in the story for complete, well-drawn character descriptions.  A short story writer must create a memorable, identifiable main character using very few words or details and not slow down the plot while doing so.  There just isn’t the leisure of space for full character development in short fiction.

That’s why many writers turn to stereotypical or “stock” characters.  Not much description is necessary for these characters, since the reader will fill in the rest.  The problems here are: modern readers are offended by negative stereotypes, and use of stereotypes marks the writer as lazy and uncreative.  It is okay to use a stock character if you give her at least one aspect running counter to the stereotype.  That makes her more human and interesting.

So far this blog post reads like a list of “don’t-do’s” without giving much positive advice.  Therefore, here’s a list of do’s:

  • Make your plot and main character fit together such that only that character could have starred in that story.  It doesn’t matter which you think of first–plot or character–just ensure they fit.  Your story’s plot will become your protagonist’s private hell, so ensure it’s the specific corner of Hell your character fears most.
  • Get to know your major characters.  Develop a brief biography.  Put more in the bio than you’ll ever write in the story.  The bio should include elements (2) through (5) in Linda Seger’s list above.
  • Ensure the main characters in your story are distinctive and obviously different from each other in as many ways as possible.  You don’t want to confuse your readers.
  • Ensure your protagonist has some measure of the Everyman about him, so readers will identify with him and care what happens to him.

I’ll have more to say on creating characters in future blog posts.  It’s a major aspect of writing, of course.  In the meantime, (Bwaaa-ha-haaa!) it’s back to the laboratory for–

Poseidon’s Scribe

 

Please follow and like me:

Write What You Know? Really?

One of the oldest sayings about writing is “write what you know.”  Its originator is unknown.  Is this good advice, or bad?

This much is certain; it’s a lucky thing some great writers didn’t actually follow that advice.  For one thing, we never would have had any science fiction or fantasy, since no writer has gone through the experiences of characters in those sorts of stories.

Or have they?

In one sense, all characters encounter problems and experience emotional reactions to those problems, then seek to find a resolution to those problems.  All writers, all prospective writers, and even all people have done these things.  Maybe you haven’t battled menacing wyverns with a magic sword, but you’ve felt fear, had adrenalin rushes, struggled to overcome a difficulty, experienced a feeling like all is lost, grabbed for one last chance, and felt the triumphant glow of victory.  You’ve had the sensations your character will have.  Even though you’re writing about a heroic knight in some never-time of mystical wonder, you’re still—in one sense—writing what you know.

I suspect some long-ago teacher coined the maxim after first giving students a writing assignment and listening to a student complain about not knowing what to write.  The answer “write what you know” isn’t a bad one in that circumstance, since the students aren’t seeking wider publication, and writing about something familiar can free the student from worrying about research or getting facts wrong.

For a writer who is seeking publication, we’ll have to amend the adage.  Write what you know, so long as:

  • It’s not just a list of boring events from your real life;
  • You give us (your readers) an interesting plot and engaging characters;
  • Your descriptions grab us and insert us right into your setting, your story’s world; and
  • Your writing touches something inside us and helps us feel what your main characters feel.

So what you know may be that ugly incident at the school playground from third grade, but don’t give us the play-by-play of that.  Please.  Instead, use the feelings of that long-ago afternoon, but make the events happen in a different time and setting, with different characters.  If your setting is a far-flung planet and your characters are wearing space suits and packing blaster pistols, you might want to do some research to ensure plausibility.  But if you’re true to the emotions you felt on that playground, they’ll come through as genuine in your story and your readers will connect.

So, Beginning Writer, if you’re stuck and don’t know how to get started, try writing what you know, then edit it into what readers want to read.   Just some more free advice from—

Poseidon’s Scribe

Please follow and like me:

Writing in the Flow

You know the feeling.  Maybe you were playing a sport or a musical instrument; maybe you experienced it at work or in church.  I’m talking about that experience of being in the zone, in the moment.  Runners call it the “second wind.”  Everything’s going well and you’re super-productive, almost flawless, and you’ve lost complete track of time.  How cool, how sweet, is that?

When writers experience it, words come out without effort; there’s a lack of awareness of surroundings and the passage of time; and the prose is better. It’s as if writer and muse are one.  If you’re like me and writing is a part-time hobby, then the precious time available for it needs to be maximized somehow.  It’s desirable to spend as much time in the zone as possible.

According to this Wikipedia article, the psychological term is “flow.”  It was coined by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, and there are ten associated factors (though not all are required):

  1. Clear goals
  2. Concentrating within a limited field of attention
  3. A loss of the feeling of self-consciousness
  4. Distorted sense of time
  5. Direct and immediate feedback
  6. Balance between ability level and challenge
  7. A sense of personal control over the activity
  8. The activity is intrinsically rewarding, so there is an effortlessness of action.
  9. A lack of awareness of bodily needs
  10. Absorption into the activity, narrowing of the focus of awareness down to the activity itself

So how can a writer intentionally bring about this state of mind?  For me, preparation is the key.  I find I can make the flow more likely if (1) I’ve prepared a story outline so I know the general direction I’m heading, and (2) I’ve previously thought about the story during “down time.”  Down time is when I’m doing an activity that doesn’t involve intense concentration, an activity such as commuting to or from work, mowing the lawn, and taking a shower.  It’s during these periods when I think about the scenes, characters, dialogue, and plot.  If I’ve done that, my mind is ready to write when I have time available.  I’m much more likely to get in the flow.

You might be different.  Some writers can induce the flow by playing music, by writing in the same spot and at the same time each day, or even by burning incense or setting out potpourri.

Unfortunately, it’s hit-or-miss getting into the flow, and very easy to get kicked out of it.  One way to get kicked out is to decide, as you’re writing, that you need to do some research.  This is a tempting urge, and can be more enjoyable than writing.  Sadly, it is a huge time sink, and there’s really no need to have it spoil your flow.  In my January 30 blog entry, I suggested something I called “bracket research.”  Just take the question you want to investigate and put it in brackets, or highlight the text yellow, or do something to distinguish it. You can stay in the flow and keep going, then do the research later.

Another dangerous practice that will kick you of the flow is to pause and self-edit too much.  You can do that later.  For now, just let words flow.  I don’t know a really good cure for that, but I suspect participating in NaNoWriMo, the National Novel Writing Month, is one way to cure yourself of that urge.

I hope you can experience and maximize the flow in all your favorite activities.  Good luck!  I suppose I should know something about flow; after all, I’m–

Poseidon’s Scribe

Please follow and like me:

What’s in a (character’s) name?

Here’s one weird thing about the way I write.  I can’t get started writing my story until the characters have names.  I might have fully outlined the plot, gotten the story clear in my mind, even come up with fleshed out personalities and histories for my characters, but without their names I can’t write the story.  In planning one of my stories, plot comes first.  As I’m outlining the plot, I’ll use character markers like Characters A, B, C, etc., or ‘Bad Guy’ or ‘Wise Old Woman,’ something like that.  But I’ve found when it comes to generating the prose, these markers won’t suffice.

Maybe that’s not weird.  Look at real life, and those things to which we give names.  We give our own babies names at birth or very shortly after.  We name our pets—the large ones–soon after obtaining them.  In a strange way, the name gives them their uniqueness, their personality.  Think of small pets like tiny tropical fish that often are not named.  Can they be said to have as much individuality as named pets?  Some people name their cars, and I contend that in some mystical manner they are imbuing their vehicles with a persona that doesn’t exist in unnamed cars.  Ships receive names after construction but before going to sea, and the naming itself is part of an elaborate ceremony.  Sailors have long considered it bad luck to sail a ship that lacks a name.

How do I choose names for my characters?  One rule is obvious; a name must be appropriate to time period and geographical setting.  Very few members of the Mongolian horde were named Trevor, I suspect.  The internet serves as a vast resource for coming up with realistic character names.  We’ll stay with our Mongol horde example, in case you’re writing about a single squad (called an arban, apparently) of the horde and you want to have plausible names.  Just typing ‘mongol names’ into a search engine comes up with plenty of sites with good examples.  Some sites pair the names with their meanings.  I do try to pick names with appropriate meanings, if the name feels right.

It’s a good idea to have interesting, distinctive names for your main characters and more plain names for background characters.  On the other hand, writers often give common surnames to main characters to convey a sense of a humble, common background, or give the character an ‘everyman’ feel.  Indiana Jones, for example, or many of the characters in the novels of Robert Heinlein.  If you do that, you might want to make sure the first name (or middle name) is unusual.

It’s also wise to avoid having any two characters whose names start with the same first letter, or the same sound.  Why risk confusing a reader?  Like most rules of writing, you can break this one.  Say you want to suggest a deeper similarity between two otherwise opposite characters.  Similar names can provide a hint of that, but you’ll have to go the extra mile in each scene to make it clear from context which character is involved so the reader doesn’t mix them up.  To take our Mongol horde example, you’ll need to use context to remind your reader that Mungentuya is the arban’s leader, and Munkhjargal is the young upstart who wants to challenge him.

As with other research, time spent choosing names is time not spent writing.  So you want to select your characters’ names wisely, but not take all day about it.  Remember, the object is to come up with a great story, not a list of perfectly suitable names.

On occasion I have picked a character’s name, started writing, and found later the name doesn’t work.  Sometimes changing a name is the right thing to do—and technically easy, using the ‘replace’ feature–but it always feels odd.  When you’ve built up an association of a character with a particular name it can be jarring at first to change it.  Still, if it must be done, like deleting a wonderfully written scene that just doesn’t help the story, then do it and get on with things.

As always, feel free to comment.

Poseidon’s Scribe

Please follow and like me:
February 6, 2011Permalink

Researching and Writing

There’s plenty of useful information out there about how writers conduct research for their stories.  Still, I suspect it’s a question many beginning writers still wonder about.  I’m one of them, and I still wonder about it!  I won’t repeat much of what is said here or here (both full of great advice) but instead I’ll just mention how I do my research.

If I had to name the two phases of my research, I’d call them “mood” research and “bracket” research. Before I began writing a story, I conduct some general research on my topic time period, geographical setting, etc.  This is to let the world of the story percolate in my mind for a while, to put me in the mood of the story, to immerse me in being there (and then).

This research is online for the most part, though I often supplement it with books from the local library.  The usual caution about the accuracy of information available on the internet applies here.  I’ve never made a trip to the area where my stories are set, but I really should, and someday I’ll do that.  Sometimes I’ve set my stories in regions where I have already been, so some of the mood research is already done.

After I’ve done my mood research and begin writing the story, I always come up against some question not answered by any of my previous research.  This is often some little thing, some detail I’m not sure of.   This lack of knowledge comes at a time when I’m in the zone, writing along and I really don’t want to be distracted by stopping to conduct further research.  Time for bracket research.  For example, say I’m writing about two women in Switzerland chatting in a house, and it’s about the year 1600 or so.  What would they be drinking?  Coffee?  Tea?  Wine?  Rather than puzzling too long about it, or stopping the flow of words to surf for the answer, I just put the question in brackets:  [What are they drinking?] and continue on.  The story might end up being littered by many of these bracketed questions.  Later I just search for the brackets, research each question, and edit the manuscript accordingly.

Some writers hate research and have to force themselves to do it.  Not me.  I love it and will gladly spend time doing that rather than write.  I call it the suction problem.  It’s the same effect I experience when walking through a shopping mall in the vicinity of a bookstore.  A localized variation in the gravity vector causes me to slip along the floor toward and into the bookstore.  I sure get strange stares from other shoppers as I slide along backwards or sideways in the grip of this suction force.  Only by an extraordinary effort is it possible for me to resist.  (It helps to wear rubber-soled shoes for traction, and to find building support columns I can grab.)

It’s the same way with research, both the mood and bracket types.   I have to force myself to stop researching and return to writing.  After all, the end goal is to submit a reasonably good story while I’m still alive, not spend my remaining years combing through every bit of reference material on the subject.  Recognizing that end goal and being aware of my preference for eternal researching helps me focus.

So that’s how Poseidon’s Scribe does his research.  How do you do yours?  Write to me here with your comments.

Poseidon’s Scribe

Please follow and like me:
January 30, 2011Permalink