On Leaving This Extant World and My Other Writing (and Reading) Foibles

Painting by Tithi Luadthong

Time for some more burning writing questions.

I’ve been answering these as part of my 10th writing birthday celebration back on February 12.

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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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On Predictability vs. Surprise in Fiction (or, How The Force Awakens forced me to change my position on the matter. Slightly.)

 

Star Wars - The Force Awakens

**No movie spoilers**

A long time ago on a blog that’s now far away from a regular posting schedule, myself and a buddy had a debate about predictability versus surprise in fiction.

Quite unwittingly, this discussion arose on the heels of an entirely different examination of pantsing versus plotting.

(For the record on that account, I like to know where my story is going before I start and to rough out as much of the journey as I’m aware of up front, but I’m in no way wedded to it, nor do I subscribe to the notion that plotting will rob a story of the joy and magic of actually writing it.  But you can read more about all that yourself.)

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Thoughts on Nearing the End

Book near the end

I should qualify this by saying I mean the end of my novel.

(Were I talking the end of my life, my thoughts would be considerably different, and if nothing else, I’d perhaps be referring back to this post about my bucket list.)

Ending a novel is hard.  The fact that I’ve done it twice thus far in my writing career hasn’t made it any easier.  Perhaps this is because only once did I consciously do so since my “two-book” series-in-progress grew to three books initially without my realizing it.

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Planning the Perfect Vacation: A (Don’t-Ask-Me) How-To

Vacation plane

Some people are awesome at planning vacations.

These are the people who research their destinations exhaustively to discover the hottest sites to visit.  The people who book things months in advance to ensure they don’t miss out on those activities that always fill up and sell out.

These are the people who know ahead of time exactly the type of vacation experience they want, and make a near part-time job of scouring tour guides and soliciting knowledgeable friends and colleagues to transform the trip of their dreams into reality.

I’m not one of those people.  Not even close.

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I Never Miss a Deadline … Except When I Do (which is often)

Deadline

So, my WIP, such as it is, is indeed still IP.

To date, despite have been writing seriously for some six years, I’ve yet to complete anything novel-length that stands as a fully completed story – a fact that haunts me continuously.

I’d originally resolved to finish my WIP last year by my birthday, which is at the end of November.

I didn’t make that deadline, but consoled myself with the fact that I had an entire other novel to write to finish the story, my previously anticipated duology in fact being a trilogy.

But there’s still something about deadlines – something definitive and binding, which I suppose is the whole point.  I almost never set deadlines.  I really don’t like them, even though my “type” is supposed to thrive on them.

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Sometimes Magic Just Works: 4 Q&As about my WIP

Ravenswing Dress - The Dark Angel Design Company, Photography - Lunaesque

The Dark Angel Design Company, photography by Lunaesque

Time to talk about my WIP again!

I never used to do this at all, as the thought of giving the dreaded “elevator pitch” makes my stomach churn like too much greasy pizza too close to bedtime.

But like anything bearing the label “dreaded”, said dread is usually lessened over time through devoting regular thought and effort to improving at the task at hand.

In other words, I need to practice pitching and promoting myself more.

Which is why, when tagged by my blog-buddy Eric J. Baker, to answer four questions about my WIP as part of the Writing Process Blog Tour, and I agreed to participate.

The four questions are thus as follows:

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