The Annual Refueling Of The Blog Tanks

As you well know, I tend to hang out here at Ye Olde Bloggeryville five out of seven days, which means I write somewhere around 250 posts in a given year, which further means that I am in near-constant danger of burning myself out of compelling topics.

That brings me to you once again where I shake you by your collar and say, “GIVE ME STUFF TO TALK ABOUT OR I’LL SHRIVEL UP AND DIE LIKE A BUG IN THE SUN.”

Meaning, what do you want from me here at the site? What topics — writing-related or otherwise — do you want to see me cover? Do you have questions you’d like answered? Fling anything and everything at my head. No guarantees I’ll end up talking about it (sometimes people suggest topics and, honestly, I got nuthin’), but I’d still like you to help me out.

Or, y’know, don’t help me out, at which point you’ll start getting posts that are ASCII drawings of penises. Or I may just type up the menus to the local take-out joints we use.

(For those who want me to talk about point-of-view in fiction, that one’s coming tomorrow.)

Thanks in advance for your suggestions, kind readers of this blog, whatever you’re called.

#highfive

99 comments

  • Seconding those who suggested topics about the genesis of stories and the care and feeding of those ideas so they will mature into actual books.
    And I like to think that your readers here are called Terrible Minders (consider carefully before leaving us in charge of your children, pets or plants).

  • I love the way you describe things. You do such a wonderful job of filtering everything through the perspective of the point of view character. I’d love to see you talk about how you do that.

  • I’d like to see more B-dub as well. How you plan to raise him differently as opposed to how you were raised etc. etc.

  • Some hints on how to translate what seems like a cool idea into an actual, functioning story. Unless that’s already here somewhere :I

  • I order you to blog about which conventions, conferences, and other nerdapalloozas are worth an aspiring word-nerd’s time. I further order that the text of this wordrant include some insult to DragonCon that launches a thousand-comment ragefest. Let this post be written as a series of haikus, one of which contains the word ‘refrigerator.’ Thus have I decreed it.

  • I love your style and have found some of the advice very useful. Over the last few months I’ve collected a stack of workshop tools for everything from generating ideas to the various story elements.The area that most concerns me though is the prose itself. I am accustomed to writing essays (only came to fiction in the last 6 months) and I feel like my creative writing comes out as clinical. I will write some 3k words and suddenly realize I’ve communicated the content but it has no life. I seem to 1. do a lot of telling and 2. be making a bee line for the plot/char beat and neglecting the world as a whole. I’m not sure if I’m starting the stories too soon, rushing the draft, or just need loads of practice. What I’d love to see is:
    – Your thoughts on narrative prose, what it is and what it does
    – Good narrative prose v bad, a kind of side by side
    – What tools/tricks do you find helpful to immerse yourself in a scene and make it vivid. Is it scene sketches, brooding over it a while, furious rewriting, etc.
    – Any tips on making sure a story isn’t actually a deposition.

  • I’d like to know about how to make your minor characters interesting and compliment/reveal things about your main character instead of just merely window dressing, but without them taking over the scene.

    Also, I’m not sure what category this falls under, but I’ve noticed with the type of stuff I write (LGBT fiction) that I have to explain certain things to people who critique it, like why a male character may sometimes refer to himself as a girl or to another gay man as “she,” along other slang terms. I realize somethings are gonna go over people’s heads if they aren’t well-versed in gay culture, but how do I make things clearer without it coming off like a gayness 101 seminar.

  • You occasionally post useful things :) There’s nothing wrong with re-posting once in a while for those of us who might have blinked. Also, examples are useful. For example, I would like an example of a lying liar point of view.

  • I like lots of the suggestions here. Some I may even steal to blog about myself.

    Talk about editing. The nitty-gritty. When you finish the first draft, what do you do next? Do you edit as to go? Do you start the next book while editing the last? That sort of thing (I have my own answers, but want to see yours).

  • February 13, 2013 at 12:28 AM // Reply

    I’m new here – I want to know the difference between “telling” and description. Or have you covered this before?

  • It’s possible that the topic already exists in the depths of the website, so apologies if this is a repeat. What I’d be interested in reading is something discussing the differing mindsets between writing short fiction and writing a book. I can write flash fiction and I’ve done some short stories, but when I think about writing anything book length my brain clanks to full stop (sometimes with the racket of a monkey wrench thrown into a press machine). I know that a good part of it is psychological, but part of it is trying to figure out how to deal with the sheer mechanics that a well-written book would demand.

  • I’d like to hear more about your research methods. Is it a matter of firing up the google machine when you’re reaching for a detail? Do you scour non-fiction to get grounding in a subject– dog fighting, ornithology? Is it a matter of pounding out the story and inserting detail later, or just relying on whiskey-soaked neurons to make the thing plausible through sheer imagination?

  • Here’s a few random thoughts – have fun.

    • Cheap Chinese food

    • First pull up, then pull down

    • whiskey

    • The Bachelor

    • dogs

    • Polish Barbie

    • Wear tap dancing shoes into a public bathroom

    • thirstiality

    • The Drugs on Terror

    • Things that look how party streamer tissue tastes

    • lick the seatbelt

    • Air keytar

    • The woods

    • Googly eyes

    • reCAPTCHA haiku

    • GWAR

    • Go to postsecret, pick a submission and create a story around it

  • Hope it’s not too late to get in a request. I’d like to talk more about head-hopping. How many Points of View are too many? I like some head-hopping in the stories I read and I can’t figure out what makes it work when it works and what makes it fail when it fails. Is it the number of heads?

  • I would like to see some discussion on getting into graphic novels. Copywriting is a lucrative career for writers and I think it would be nice to touch on how one would get started in that field, either freelance or through a corp. of some kind.

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