12 January 2015

Neil Gaiman: "How to be a Writer"

"Write the ideas down. If they are going to be stories, try and tell the stories you would like to read. Finish the things you start to write. Do it a lot and you will be a writer. The only way to do it is to do it. "

Seriously. That's the whole thing. Also, don't plan to make a living at it. Plan to enjoy it. There are seminars and books on "how to write a best seller" ... typically they involve you writing non-fiction self-help books full of shit for 99cents on Kindle.

Faster way to suck the love for something into a dried husk of death.

The only advice I'll give is to please STOP writing fiction that looks like a movie  script. A script is not a story. People writing anime-themed fan fiction seem to be particularly awful about this. You have to immerse the reader, describe the environment, what are they wearing, what is the weather like, etc. But not as an information dump, weave it into the descriptive prose little bits a time in between the dialog.

The air is cold so Tsika wears a coat. "Is god damned cold!"

Tsika shivered in her coat and stamped her feet. Her ears hurt from the frosty air. "Is so fucking cold it hurts to breathe! Why the fuck do I live where it hurts to breathe, damn it?!"

Neither one is perfect but I'll take the latter one any day because the character no longer feels distant.