I keep telling myself, writing the next book isn't going to be such a marathon.By Serdar Yegulalp on 2018/09/10 17:00
No, I didn't want to spend upwards of two years working on Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned, but there you go. Life happens, and a little more of it than I wanted to happened over the last ten to twelve months.
But there's some kind of home stretch in view now. End of September, is what I'm thinking. And then I take the rest of the year off to reorganize the office and read books that aren't mine for a change.
For fun I sat down and mentally traced the progress of my earlier SF-space-opera thingy Flight Of The Vajra.By Serdar Yegulalp on 2018/09/09 13:00
We got to talking the other day about how the finished version of a story looks nothing like its original version. For fun I sat down and mentally traced the progress of my earlier SF-space-opera thingy Flight Of The Vajra. Even I was surprised by the number of steps involved, and the evolution along the way.
Steve has some notes on why authors (him included) come down with Impostor Syndrome.By Serdar Yegulalp on 2018/09/09 08:00
Steve has some notes on why authors (him included) come down with Impostor Syndrome:
First, writing is not an exact science unless your subject is very exact and like a science. Because of this there’s no exact way to know you’re doing it right and certainly no way to know you’re doing it perfectly. This makes it easy to imagine all the things you could do differently and never think of “right enough” – or developing your own standards.
Secondly, writers are imaginative. We can come up with all sorts of ways to decide how bad we are. We turn imagination on ourselves.
I was talking before about how we need to think of creative work in terms of palettes and not hierarchies, and Steve's notes feed back into that line of thinking.
Kevin Drum dropped an aphorism worth repeating: "When you write, pretend you’re writing for people you respect."By Serdar Yegulalp on 2018/09/07 08:00
Kevin Drum, in a recent piece on the way Twitter has degraded online discourse, dropped an aphorism that's worth repeating: "When you write, pretend you’re writing for people you respect."
A world where we mandate weirdness is just as unproductive as a world where we mandate its removal.By Serdar Yegulalp on 2018/09/06 08:00
Kenny Shopsin died earlier this week.
New Yorkers would know him; I don't know if his legend spread much beyond that burg. He ran a grocery store that eventually turned into a restaurant, and both places (from what I've gleaned of the way people talked about them) were direct reflections of the man who ran them. Not easy to like, not always palatable. He tossed people out for violating rules that changed often, like the use of cellphones in the place, or saying things like "I'll have what s/he's having."
You didn't go there for the food or the service. You went there because Kenny was an original and the number of truly original experiences in the world is minute by definition, and originals are always a pain in the butt.
"...there’s a chance if you’re inspired by an author or a creator, you won’t do it quite right."By Serdar Yegulalp on 2018/09/04 17:00
Steve makes a tremendously important point:
... my major influences were also ones influencing my flaws. Allow me to explain:
First, there’s a chance if you’re inspired by an author or a creator, you won’t do it quite right.
Second, you may make the same mistakes your inspiration makes – and likely being less polished than they, you’ll make them worse.
Third, your inspirations together may not sit quite right. You need to find a way to fuse them into a whole.
All of these are things I've realized at one point or another on my own, in different ways.
I have long held a motto of my own that I think is an echo of what Steve is putting out here: Palettes, not hierarchies.By Serdar Yegulalp on 2018/09/04 08:00
Every so often Steven Savage writes what amounts to a manifesto of creativity. The latest is "No More Heroes – But A Legion Of Them", and it is essentially an attack on the idea of big creative tentpoles as the model for others to follow. I liked the points he made and the recommendations he offered, this one in particular:
I do believe we should share literature and media, but no more preaching. Let’s encourage people to enjoy things but let’s stop pursuing the next big thing – it’s wearing us out and wearing us down. It’s tiring to have so many must haves. Let’s make offerings not demands.
Science fiction, rebooted.
New York City
Other Lives Of The Mind