It’s not uncommon for new story ideas to pop into my head at the most inconvenient times–often while I’m running errands and don’t have anything to write with. I don’t want to just discard the ideas while the ideas are flowing, so I’ve worked out a trick to try to remember such things, even a bunch of them that aren’t related.
Archive | On Writing
This post is in part based on ideas picked from the brain of my good friend Rachael K. Jones–credit where credit’s due!
I’ve talked in previous posts about the difference between goals and milestones. But on the subject of goals, I thought it’s worth breaking that down further into what I’m going to call goal themes vs goals.
This is the second article in a series considering the applications of game theory on writing. Game Theory is the study of strategic decision making. I won’t get into the mathematics of it, just high level concepts. The first article in the series discussed differentiating between goals and milestones. The second article in the series discussed ways for writers to keep score on their submissions that will encourage them to reach their goals.
This is the second article in a series considering the applications of game theory on writing. Game Theory is the study of strategic decision making. I won’t get into the mathematics of it, just high level concepts. Much of focus of Game Theory centers around “gamifying” everyday decisions, giving them a goal and a way to keep score to determine how well you’re meeting that goal. One thing that writers can struggle with is keeping stories in circulation–you can’t sell stories if you don’t submit them–so for this article I’ll be considering ways to keep score that encourage the behavior you want.
This is the first of a short series of articles about applying Game Theory to writing. Game Theory is the study of strategic decision making, a field of study made most famous by mathematician John Nash (which the movie A Beautiful Mind was based on). I won’t be getting into the math of Game Theory, but I thought it might be interesting to discuss some applications of strategic decision making in the writing/submitting/publishing process because I’m both a writing geek and a programming geek, so a discussion mixing the two lights up all kinds of synapses in the geek centers of my brain.
I had never heard of the musician who calls himself Amadeus X. Machina until I went to WorldCon in Chicago last year and stumbled across one of his performances. He is a musician of the most eccentric variety, eschewing the commonplace for his own forms of expression. He laughs at the traditional definitions of “audience” or “distribution”. If you so much as mention iTunes, he will slap you so hard your teeth will rattle (I learned this the hard way). He has an avid fanbase of people who devote large portions of their lives to figuring out where he will play next, and largely failing to do so. I have yet to speak to anyone who has seen him play twice, and the first time always seems to be a random coincidence, though he seems to always appear at times of need.
Most people who comment on the changing publishing landscape concentrate on the problems. Bestselling author and blue chip workshop instructor Dean Wesley Smith has a can-do make it happen attitude and concentrates on solutions. And unlike self proclaimed experts, he’s a proven success. The business model he blogs about on his website and teaches in his workshops isn’t theory. He sells books with that business model. Lots of books. At a profit. In this interview with Carl Slaughter, he plays myth buster for writers who have reservations about making the transition from print publishing to electronic publishing and from traditional publishing to self publishing. At http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/, he dispels conventional wisdoms on a regular basis.
For those of you who don’t know, Canny Valley is my (Anthony) web comic project. Today marks the six month anniversary since launch and I thought I’d share some of my lessons learned. Not surprisingly, creating comics is much like any other creative endeavor. I’ll be posting an article soon detailing the basic work flow […]
A thick skin doesn’t come naturally. You have to cultivate it. One of the biggest ways that I did this when I started writing fiction is critique forums. My particular favorite is Baen’s Bar. Post some stuff there in the Baen’s Bar Slush, get some feedback, post feedback on other people’s stories. Yeah, the negative comments can be hard to take at first, but you learn to extract the useful parts of them.
One of the aspects of the craft writing that never seems to get much discussion is the choice of title. Now, certainly there are lots of other things you need to work on, endings, the beginning hook, characterization, so on. And those other things are more likely to affect your chances at making a sale. But titles do matter. At the very least they can be the icing on the cake. At the most they can make the story itself more memorable and thus easier to recommend and discuss (always an important thing). Their value is less obvious and harder to measure.