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Thu Apr 30, 2015 at 05:00 PM PDT

Write On! Cheez-Its and Genre

by SensibleShoes

Hello, writers. Write On! has returned now to the 8 p.m. Eastern/5 p.m. Pacific timeslot that we had previously. I hope that will be more convenient for the West Coast folks.

I mentioned last week that I'€™ve been looking at a lot of unpublished manuscripts lately. This has got me thinking about beginnings (often all the further one gets in reading a manuscript). It seems to me that beginnings need, to a certain extent, to reflect the manuscript'€™s genre.

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Thu Apr 23, 2015 at 04:59 PM PDT

Write On! Waking up.

by SensibleShoes

Hello, writers. Write On! is returning now to the 8 p.m. Eastern/5 p.m. Pacific timeslot that we had previously. I hope this will be more convenient for the West Coast folks.

Lately, for various reasons, I’ve been looking at a lot of unpublished manuscripts. And it has struck me that an awful lot of them begin in the same way.

They begin with the main character waking up.

Now, I’m not sure this is necessarily a bad way to begin. However, when nearly everyone begins this way, it’s hard to stand out.

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Thu Apr 16, 2015 at 04:00 PM PDT

Write On! Idea(s).

by SensibleShoes

Hello, writers. Sorry I got knocked offline last week. I went back later and perused people’s answers to the questions I asked and it appears that by general consensus:

1. People would rather Write On! moved back to its old timeslot of 8 pm eastern/5 pm pacific on Thursday nights.
So, starting next week, Write On! is back to 8 pm.

(Assuming this is okay with the R&BLers chiefs-of-staff.)

2.  People would prefer that I go back to hosting Write On!, but they would also like to have guest hosts occasionally.
So I’ll post sign up dates for that in the future.

Moving on.

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Hello, writers. Thank you very much to everyone who wrote stirring and informative Write On! diaries during this past fall and winter, while I was living in a house without internet access. I have a question in the comments below about where we go from here, and I hope you’ll take the time to give your thoughts.

Lately I’ve been thinking about the extent to which a novel or story is a spell, and how writers have to decide, consciously, when to sustain the spell and when to break it.

The spell, of course, is a kind of hypnosis in which the reader agrees to immerse him/herself into the world the writer has created and accept all its parameters as real. The reader’s part in this is called the suspension of disbelief; the writer’s part in it is building the spell so strongly that suspension of disbelief is possible.

(This is perhaps why being told someone else's dream is boring; we have no need to suspend disbelief. We know it’s a dream.)

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Hello, writers. Last week we lost one of the greatest writers of our time, Terry Pratchett.

What can you say about a 66-year-old writer who died? That he was beautiful and brilliant? That he loved...

Well, I haven't seen anything that says it better than this.

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Hello, writers. I’ve talked in the past about cutting words, and how useful a tool it can be for writers. The older I get, the more useful I find it.

I used to cut just once, on my penultimate read-through before submitting a manuscript. I usually had a goal of cutting 5,000 words, and would succeed in cutting only 2,000. I now cut several times over the writing and rewriting process— continually, in fact.

So what’s the point of cutting? It’s not just to get a shorter manuscript that fits industry specs, although that’s part of it. It’s also to make the prose cleaner and crisper, and to allow those points that you really want to shine (favorite lines, favorite character moments) to shine brighter.

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Hello, writers. Six years ago today I posted a diary suggesting that if anyone on dkos had been thinking of writing a book, there was no time like New Year’s Day to start. The response sort of surprised me… it turned out a lot of people had been thinking of writing a book. And thus was Write On! born.

Currently it’s being written by a roster of brilliant hosts. (I don’t have regular internet access and won’t for the next three months at least.) If you’d like to sign up to do a Write On! diary, please respond to my comment below.

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Hello, writers. So here we are at NaNoWriMo again, and the doughty writers listed below are giving it a go. All are shooting for 50k words in November unless otherwise stated.

Prinny Squad
cfk (will report on compiling the story of Jasper and Hitch)
not a lamb (will report dissertation wordcount)
Cassandra Waites
That's a much longer list than we had last year, I think. Write on!
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Thu Oct 23, 2014 at 05:01 PM PDT

Write On! NaNoWriMo time again.

by SensibleShoes

Hello, writers. Starting next week with the lovely and talented Emmet, Write On! will be hosted by a rotating roster of writers through the winter. So if you haven't done so already, please go down to the bottom of the diary and click the heart next to the “Write On” tag so that you'll always be able to find it.

(I'll post the full roster in the comments below.)

The time of posting will also be changing to 7 pm ET, 4 pm Pacific.

Still Thursdays, though.

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Hello, writers. I'm writing this before going to pick up a car. It will be the first new car I've ever owned, a 2014 Prius. This is giving me cause to reflect on the book that's buying the car, and the lessons I learned from it.

The book is The Hope Chest. It was my second novel. Not my best. No way. But it was the best I could do at the time. That's the first lesson.

In terms of sales, how well you've written is usually not the deciding factor. Nonetheless, you should write as well as you possibly can.

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Thu Oct 09, 2014 at 05:00 PM PDT

Write On! What is pacing?

by SensibleShoes

Hello, writers. In the comments section below, you'll find a roster for Write On! hosts. So far it contains ace Write On! regulars Emmet and mettle fatigue. Please consider joining it! If you're a WO! regular then you probably spend some time thinking about writing, and that means you probably have some aspect of writing that you'd like to discuss, share your knowledge about, or ask others about.

As for the “Tonight's Challenges,” if you can't get one organically out of the diary topic, you can always choose two words randomly from the dictionary and use them as a writing prompt.

Anyway. On to tonight's topic. Pacing. What is it? I never heard the term until a couple years ago.

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Hello, writers. So when I mentioned last week that I'm planning to spend this winter in a house without an internet connection, you maybe got that I'm looking forward to that. (At least if we can figure out a way to make Write On! work.)  The internet gets in the way of writing.

I'm perfectly capable of sitting down at the computer in the morning, getting online, and looking up to see the sun has set. This happens not just occasionally, but frequently.

Right now, the internet is the biggest of the things that keeps me from writing.

Neil Gaiman said that anything that helps you write is probably good, and anything that keeps you from writing is probably bad. You only have to think about this for five seconds to see that it's terrible life advice. But in writing, at least, it's good to be aware of what helps you and what doesn't.


We discussed moving the time of Write On! (since I'll be using a coffee shop internet connection.) Which of the following would you prefer?

19%6 votes
19%6 votes
51%16 votes
6%2 votes
3%1 votes

| 31 votes | Vote | Results

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