Monday, February 21, 2011

On Writing

Sometime last year I said that I wasn't going to let 2010 end without my having written a novel. I am here to admit that I failed to accomplish that goal. I did a lot of writing and threw away a lot and finally decided that I was on the wrong track and stopped and wrote a couple of short stories, because hey, a writer writes and I had some stories to tell. However I am gearing up to try a novel again, so we'll see where that takes me.
In the meantime here are some recent thoughts about writing. A couple of years back I posted about how much I loved writing in the first person viewpoint and how much trouble I had with third person but how I was still working on third because I refused to be defeated by a viewpoint. I am happy to report that I am much better at third person now. I won't say that I've mastered it. My third person prose still takes lots more editing than my first person writing. However I have written my last four stories, including one novella, in third and one of them is due to be published soon, so I must have gotten something right. Third continues to be a challenge, but it definitely has its uses. Besides, challenge is good. Keeps you from getting complacent.
After three stories in the last two years with barbarians as protagonists, someone asked me if I only wrote about barbarians. I explained that those three stories were actually the first I'd ever completed with barbarians as protagonists, and of course none of them were pure sword & sorcery. Two involved time travel and the other involved alternate universes. I've yet to write an all out Conan style pastiche. I enjoy writing fish out of water characters so I've had a lot of fun putting barbarians where you don't expect them. In fact one of my possible novel ideas would be another such story. I don't think it's very commercial, but then again I don't worry much about those things these days.


Lagomorph Rex said...

I'll admit I somewhat toyed with the idea of writing a novel, or series of novels, last year.. my ideas were bigger than my desire to work unpaid however.. and after reading a few too many "This is how you get published, stupid!" and "Don't even bother trying to get published, stupid!" blogs and blog posts.. I eventually decided I'd be just as well off playing the powerball... and sort of gave up on the whole thing.

cheers though if you have the follow-through

Charles R. Rutledge said...

These days, Lagomorph, it's more about just wanting to finish a novel length manuscript again. I wrote a couple of books years ago, before I had actually begun publishing anything, and though I've since written numerous short stories, novellas, and what have you, I haven't managed to finish a book since I became a professional writer. Publication barely enters the equation at this point. More of a personal challenge than anything else.