Saturday, August 26, 2006

How To: Quit Your Day Job

hollylisle.jpgHolly Lisle has, in addition to 30 fantasy and science fiction (and other genres) novels, compiled a wealth of essays on writing. (Some of her out of print books are available from her site for free download also.)

Here's a bit from her Middles essay:
I'm in one right now --- a middle, that is. Actually, I'm nearing the end of the middle, which in my humble opinion is the utter worst place in the universe to be.

The loathsome middle in question happens to be in Curse of the Black Heron, but it wouldn't matter. I've never met a middle I liked, and if the middle weren't CotBH, it would be something just as bad, or worse.

Writers come in all sorts. There are folks who dread the blank page, and who have an absolute terror of getting the thing started, but once they've been plugging on a bit, they're fine. There are folks who start well, middle well, and hate endings. And then there's my sort --- we who start well and end well (or at least enjoy doing our beginnings and endings, which I admit isn't always the same thing) but who do awful things to ourselves in the middle of every book because halfway through, we're certain that whatever magic we once had is gone and that every word that spills from our fingertips onto the keyboard has become total crap.
Here's a sampling:

HOW TO'S
  • Quit Your Day Job
  • Format a Manuscript
  • Start a Novel
  • Create a Character
  • Finish A Novel
  • Revise A Novel
  • Collaborate
  • Design a Career
  • Steal Ideas
  • Fantasy
  • SF Worldbuilding
  • Time & First Person

WORKSHOPS
  • Creating Conflict
  • Novel Pre-Writing
  • Set Writing Goals
  • Character Creation
  • Dialogue
  • Maps
  • Scene Creation
  • Timed Writing
  • Worldbuilding
  • Pacing Scenes
  • Plot Outline
  • Fast Plotting
  • Visualization
  • Characterization
  • Using Strangeness
  • Honing Your Talent
  • Write Suckitudinously
  • Evaluate Your Work
  • Description
  • One-Pass Revision
  • Revising Vincalis
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