Saturday, May 24, 2008

Great new term-- ramble-and-chop

Stumbled across a link to a Jennifer R. Hubbard's blog the other day. Although I've been trimming my subscription lists to keep my blog reading times down, I couldn't resist adding her.

The tipping point was her use of the term ramble-and-chop. It's a great way to describe my primary writing method at the moment. At other times I've been more fastidious about my drafts, but for this book that's changing.

The main reason is that I don't have tons of time to devote (new baby and all), but I also don't want to stagnate and not write for months. The only way to get forward motion is to not fret so much about the quality of the rough draft I'm putting down. I know I can edit, I know I have the guts to drop huge sections and start over if necessary, painful though it is.

Ramble-and-chop... that's the plan. Ramble now, chop later.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Just what I needed to hear

Jonathan Carroll, one of my all-time favorite authors, doesn't blog a ton about writing process, but when he calls something out it's always worth reading.

His recent post was exactly what I needed to hear:

If you believe you have it in you, write whatever it is you want and stop thinking about approaches or limitations or or or... Just *write* it. Clear your mind of hesitation and everything other than the sentence you are trying to write and do it. Then write the next one. The more you think about it, the less well you do it.
Writing the new novel, I've been noting an internal paranoia growing. I'm spending more and more time wondering whether it's "working", whether the pacing's right, whether I'm falling into old habits. It's distracting, but now I'm reminded of what I need to do.

Just *write* it.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Back to critiquing

So today my first couple chapters from the new book are going to critique group. It's the first time since last summer that I've had anything substantial up on the block. To be honest I'm a little nervous.

But my wife gave me a good reminder last night--critique isn't a pat-on-the-back club. It's about strengthening and honing your writing. Sometimes that means enduring the pain of seeing how you missed the mark (again), where your writing was lax, your ideas didn't pan out, and your spelling is atroshus (ha). But it also means that your work will be better, cleaner and stronger which makes it worth the effort.

Anyway, donning my thickest skin. Wish me luck.

PS -- For the record, my critique group is awesome. Never mean-spirited, always thoughtful, but also deeply honest. Just because someone cares about you and your writing doesn't always make it easy to hear what's broken.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Outages and server moves

Apologies to anyone who missed out on my lack-of-blogging for a bit. My good friend Michael who hosts my site was switching servers, and the wires got crossed on a few things for a bit.

The main site is still down until I make a few changes, but the blog and the brew blog should be back in working order.

Ah, now I can relax and carry on not blogging much :)

Update: Main site should be back up--peeled it back to .Net 1.1 since I don't know if/when we'll get an upgrade. Don't love it, but there you go.