On the Horseshoe Theory of Plotting vs. Pantsing

It’s one of the first questions writers ask each other upon meeting for the first time:

Are you a plotter…

(outliner)

(architect)

…or a pantser

(discovery writer)

(gardener)?

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How to Keep Creating While the World is Going to Shit

It can feel a bit like fiddling while Rome burns.

The world at large has always been a tumultuous place, particularly with the advent of new online media entities, social media, and the 24-hour news cycle of network news making us more aware than at any other time in history of the shit going down across the globe.

Lately, however, it seems it’s not just greater access to the news that’s making the world seem so untenable, but rather the quality of the news as well.

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My Novel-in-Progress Needed a Soundtrack.  Yours May Too.

music-books

To be honest, it initially struck me as absurd, the thought of creating a soundtrack for a novel, let alone my own novel-in-progress.

After all, a book is, well, a book.  It is static and non-visual beyond the fact of seeing a print or e-book’s typewritten words.

To me, it made little sense trying to apply techniques used in visual arts (most notably motion pictures) to a format that most definitely isn’t a picture (this despite the fact that very good books can indeed succeed in creating vivid pictures in the reader’s mind).

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The Stories We Tell Ourselves

Daydreaming

No, this isn’t a post about negative self-talk.

That would be the subject of an entirely different, and if I chose to get all self-psychoanalytical about it, lengthy post.

Rather, it’s about what goes on in my mind whenever it’s not otherwise occupied, and, to me, is the furthest thing from negative.

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How Reading Affects My Writing – Past, Present, and Future

Book magic

When it comes to books and words and the creation and consumption of both, although I write nearly every day, I’ve always considered myself a reader first while only second am I a writer.

Of course, there is factual truth to this statement: I literally learned and continued to read stories before I started writing them (although the timing for both is close; I clearly recall writing my first “novel” in grade two).

Even now as an adult, my almost-daily reading occurs earlier in the day (dinner time) than does my almost-daily writing (after dinner, the last thing before  I go to sleep).

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Finally, I’m a Finisher (or, Holy Heck, I Wrote a Trilogy)

Book's last pages

Although Sag loves the thrill of a new project or friendship, you don’t always finish what you start. Work on keeping your promises and commitments.

(Source: http://astrostyle.com/sagittarius, among many others.)

~

I’m not a follower of astrology or other form of pop culture personality typing, but sometimes, it seems, these systems follow me.

I was born under the astrological sign of Sagittarius.  People of this sign are said to highly gregarious, to have an incurable wanderlust, and also to be notoriously distractible – to the point that they rarely complete what they start.

Even though I’ve never felt I embodied any of these hallmark Sagittarian traits, the presence of the last one in the above list has always caused me some distress.

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Vacation is the Enemy of Creative Progress*

Watching TV on the couch

My time off included a whole lot of this

The week before last, I was on vacation.

“Holiday” as my friends across the pond and Down Under would say.

Or as I like to call it, “staycation”, for it was a vacation where, rather than travelling someplace, I remained in my home town.

(For the record, I make a further distinction between a “vacation”, which to me involves travel, and a “holiday”, which is travel to someplace particularly noteworthy or exotic.  But that’s just me.)

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