July 26, 2002

Killing People for Fun and Profit

Do you like mystery stories? Ever thought about crafting a "whodunnit" yourself? Then why the heck haven't you checked out my article about plotting a mystery in Holly Lisle's Vision E-Zine? Oh. You didn't know I had a mystery-writing article? Okay...go check it out:

Get a Clue: Using Clues to Map Your Mystery http://fmwriters.com/Visionback/Issue10/genremystery.htm

Check out the rest of the 'zine while you're at it. And there's back issues too.

July 25, 2002

Open Wide

No, this post isn't about dentistry. It's about exposing yourself like a Times Square flasher when you're a writer. I made a similar post on the now defunct version of Rob's Writing Pains. This will probably be an ongoing theme as I work on the latest WIP since I'm forced to post work on the class board over at Holly's site. What part of me did I bear this time? My twist ending I talked about in the last post. I rewrote my premise for the class and included it, along with the increased stakes and all that. Though Beth said she loved the idea for the ending, I'm not sure how anyone else will react. I mean, as honest as Beth tries to be, she's still on my side and tends to think a lot the same way as I do. We do live together after all.

Anyway, I could have played it safe, held onto my idea for the ending, maybe even left it out completely. But playing it safe isn't what writing's about. You can't always be afraid that your ideas suck. Maybe some of them do. So what? You have to get through the suck to get to the gold. On average I have sucky ideas. But inevitably they lead to better ones. And I consider myself good at coming up with ideas. Still, this is one of those leaps of faith, where you think you know what you've got is good, but you're afraid to put it out there because it isn't what's expected, it isn't the standard progression, it isn't safe.

I guess, I've had such a good response to this project so far, I'm afraid with this, everyone will see me for the fraud I am. I don't pretend I'm the only writer who feels this way. I've heard this story told a hundred times. Why is it many of us writers must constantly live with this kind of fear? Perhaps the self-doubt is what drives us to improve. Nothing is ever good enough. But eventually -- and this has been my problem for years now -- you have to decide it is good enough and let it out for others to see. You can't make all the judgments. No writer is so good, so objective, that he knows when he's written a perfect story (if there is such a thing). That's why there's critics to jump on a writer every time he slips. Or why some of us use crit groups or show our stuff to our significant others.

It doesn't change the fact that I'm afraid of what they'll think of my idea. It doesn't sate the dread over going to the class board and seeing what's been said. I'm just trying to take comfort in knowing I'm not alone. And if you thought, having these same feelings, you were alone...now you know better.

'Nuf said.

July 23, 2002

Just an update

Not much new in the Realm of Rob. It's too early to think. I'm trying to make some decisions about my WIP. I've got what could be a cool twist toward the end. I've been thinking about using it, but it'll take some literary dancing to pull it off and at the same time cuts off an entire possible viewpoint. At the same point, not getting into this particular character's head might in fact add to the sense of his impenetrability. My main character, this boy's father, has a broken relationship with his son, crippled even more so by the father's own self-doubts. And the kid's "delinquent" behavior is something of a mystery to his father. By staying out of the kid's VP, I could make his behavior a mystery to the reader as well. Which will only crank up the shock when I drop the bomb at the end.

I think I've already made up my mind. But if I don't have the kid's VP to work with, I need a couple more characters whose VP I can get into. Right now I have a decent number of nameless, faceless supporting roles that are automatic to the story. So I'll either have to flesh a couple of those out, or make up someone new. For now, I think I'll try both and see what happens.

'Nuf said

July 22, 2002

My New Blog

Due to some personal reasons and general boredom, I've started this new blog that's basically much like the last one, only different. At this posting the template is still very new and will undergo changes until I'm happy. So please forgive my blog's ugliness at the moment.

If you're looking for the old Rob's Writing Pains (and I can't imagine why you would be) I'm not at this time revealing its location. But I assure you, it still exists...for now. In any event, welcome to my new blog.