This week – reading about writing, but not actually writing – really

I have been spending a lot of time reading about writing. Seeking advice on what to do.  In fact I have spent sooo much time reading about writing, I haven’t been writing!

And now I am only writing about reading, and not writing about the Assassin of Earth! GAH!

Universally, I would say that all successful writers are will give aspiring writers this advice:

1) No I won’t read your novel/short story/script

2) No I won’t give it to my agent

3) Yes you should write!

4) Get use to being rejected

5) Persevere

6) Read the genre you write in!

They are by in large very encouraging. Which is very surprising. There aren’t many fields where you encourage your competition, even cheer them on!

Writing is unique in that way. Writing is unique in other ways. Take for example critiques.

Other writers, trying to get published or just write will take the time to read what you write and do an analysis of it for you, make suggestions, help you get better.

They do this for free!!! Can you  imagine if there was such a free exchange of ideas in the scientific world!

What if it was requirement for all businesses to share information freely so you could all get better!

If contractors had to be hired by “Agents”, so yo knew you got a really good contractor.  Or Doctor’s Or Lawyer’s – the charlatan’s would fewer and fewer.

Imagine the difference in the quality of life for all us, young and old, rich or poor. Simply because we all cared enough to make each of us better.

It would be a different world, it would be, dare I say, a better world!

Fear is the mind killer

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer.  Dune

It is very interesting to me how much fear or more accurately “being scared” is creeping into this whole writing thing.

I am trying very hard, well trying, at least, to follow what I identify as the common advice given to first time writers. Some of the them I have outlined. The one not covered is being scared.

At 54, I find myself carefully protecting my persona from injury, both physically and mentally. Trying to be an author, for me, requires a great deal of exposure, of personnel honesty, of being able to let myself be criticized; to open myself to being wounded, hurt.

The most frightening path I have gone down (so far) is to attend a local writer’s group meeting. Very frightening. All these people are writers, whereas I am not…

I went to the public library where the meeting was to be held. The Librarian said to me, “Go through the door marked exit.” I laughed.

She wasn’t kidding, going through the door marked exit were 12 other individuals. I was late because I was scared of being early, I am normally early. 12 heads turned, 12 pairs of eyes turned to look at me…

It was a great meeting for me. I don’t know if it was just the giddiness of being near other writers or how impressed I was by all of them or just that I was meeting new people for the first time in a long time, but it was a very energizing night.

The most surprising part of the night was how well all of the people there read. Hearing all the the different voices reading the short 2 or 3 paragraphs from a writing prompt was amazing.

I did not expect to listen to such a great group of readers, orators. Changing their tone and emphasis as the read the story, so different from their normal speaking voice. Charming and enlightening.

Will I go to a second meeting ? I think so. My biggest concern is that they are all so good, and I am such hack. What can I contribute to the group? Oddly enough in my ongoing reading about writing I came across a small bit on the writing of George Orwell:

from http://www.chrismoriartybooks.com/writing.html

“If you think I’m joking, go find a biography of George Orwell and read the stuff he was writing when he was twenty- five. It sucked. In fact, it was so awful that thirty years after his death his friends and relations were still struggling to figure out how an average kid with no talent at all turned into one of the greatest writers of the 20th century.”

I will never be a writer like Orwell, that is not my intent, nor do I have that talent. My goal is to write a complete  novel, nothing more, nothing less. It doesn’t even have to be considered “good”. As long as I finish it and it is a novel.

Be Well – dcd

In the beginning…

This blog is about me trying to write my first novel, Assassin of Earth. Like many aspiring authors I have been toying with the idea of writing a novel for years. Now that I am much older, I am trying to commit some time and effort to the process.

The funniest part to me is that I am not a good writer; I often leave key words out of emails, even though I think they are there.

In my effort to write, I have turned to various sources. Some books, some software programs, some chaos.

I have “just started” several stories throughout my life. I figure that I should try and finish one of them.

4,000 words into this story I realized that I needed to understand in greater detail what a novel is , and what a novel is not. I stopped writing the story and started examining what outlining and planning a novel is about. I apologize to those of you that are “seat of the pants” writers.

Here is an excerpt from the first whack of words:

Monicale Pre Sone started the conversation, directly.

“So how does it feel to kill 8 billion people?”, looking directly at me – flat expressionless, she could have been asking me about the weather.

“You would have to ask the Empire, I am but an instrument” , I replied in an equally flat tone. It was a true statement, deaths done in the fulfillment of keeping the accords were attributed to the violating the government leader or group of leaders. I turned to the Ambassador who was looking at the place setting.

“So, Ambassador, how does your Emperor feel about killing 8 billion of his own subjects? Her flat stare and question was now directed at the Ambassador. I would not want to be the ambassador. There was steel in the eyes of the First Prime.

“The Emperor is at “school” this week, learning from his mistakes.” replied the Ambassador.

“And you are not in school with him?” The Abbott questioned, speaking for the first time.

“I passed that class already” answered the Ambassador, turning to the Abbot with a slight smile on the his face. “Honor student.”