John Scalzi on:

Thursday, March 24, 2005

What is publishing -

4.
"Writing competence is a learnable skill -- and therefore most people are capable of being competent writers. Writing competently isn't rocket science; it requires the knowledge of certain grammatical rules, which are less difficult than, say, calculus, followed by lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of writing practice. Yes, some writers are gifted by God or nature to be great writers and have that great ineffable thing that makes their writing sing without any effort at all. The odds that person is you are slim."

To read the rest, go here.

He also gives us a list of Ten things about Literary Rejection -

4.
"I read each story until it no longer works for me. If that happens before the end of the story, I'm going to reject the piece. I don't usually know from piece to piece what's going to work for me. Like pornography or a good melon, I know entertaining work when I see it. But I guarantee you if you think there's a point at which your story lags, I will, too. Don't give me the opportunity to decide your piece doesn't work. If the story works all the way through that doesn't mean it's accepted, but it does mean it'll make it into the pool of stories I'd like to buy."

To read the other 6 items listed, go here.

And because I've never been known to have pity on horses deceased, here's John's opinion on the whole writers blogging thing: Scalzi the Blog Killer, (scroll up), as an addendum to my blog post yesterday.

I'm chillin on the writing a bit. Whatever is hampering me is bigger than blogging (although, that would have been a nice crutch) I'm not excited about my current wip, or any of the story I ideas I have on file or have come up with recently. Furthermore, I'm not enjoying much of what I read lately. I've started and stopped half a dozen books and, with a pitiful few exceptions, nothing is really holding my interest--or enticing it for that matter--never mind sucking me in or holding me entranced (which is how I prefer my reading to go).
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9 comments:

Jordan Summers said...

It's time to play video games or watch your favorite movies. Pick anything you enjoy doing and do it. I believe this over all disassociated feeling is going around. Several people have mentioned being unproductive in the writing and reading fronts. Hang in there.

Jaye said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Jordan. :-) I hope your fabulous hubby has help you through the rough spot, you're going through with your own writing. I've been watching a lot of excellent movies lately, and that seems to be helping. Plus the time off from work has been just what the doctor ordered.

ma said...

Sorry your writing is stalled, Jaye. Sometimes a break is needed. Are you one of those write through to the end people, or do you start over at the beginning often? (I'm a rolling drafts kind of person myself.)

And did you enter the GH this year?

Jaye said...

I'm a start over, edit as I write type gal. I can't write straight through. Unless I"m writing *true*, that is making no false turns.

Ack!! The contest that shall not be named. ::hands over ears:: lalalalalalalala Yeah, I entered. I totally rewrote/revised ms #1--which didn't do too badly the first time round, most of my scores were 8's or high 7's, but I got tanked by two nasty-assed low 5's. So while I'm not holding my breath about finalling, I'd be interest to see how the new (better, imo) stacks up.

How about you? Did you enter?

ma said...

Oh, sorry for mentioning it! I didn't enter but I've been following the eHQ thread today. I'm not a RWA member. (I know, bad. But it's so expensive! Even with the stronger Canadian doller. To join, to join a chapter, to enter the GH. I can't quite bring myself to do it. Although I sometimes wish I had. Otoh, not finaling in the GH is a bummer, given that there isn't even feedback.)

But, good luck!

Jaye said...

Sometimes I do wonder if it's worth the price of admission. I didn't renew my fees with the local chapter, because I just wasn't making the meetings. I do intend to renew my membership with the online chapter -- From the Heart--since I pop in there fairly frequently, and there's a lot of discussion going on, plus I found their online workshops were really great.

It does suck not geting feedback from the GH, but I look at it more as a marketing thing--you can put it in your query letters and it will hopefully give you a leg up during the submission process. Also, if I were going to Reno, it puts you at the head of the line re appointments.

*sigh* I was trying to forget that contest thread at eharl (or do they have a dedicated thread for the GH, now? It can get a twee bit depressing to see all the 'I finalled' posts--no matter how happy you are for the posters--while your remains silent.... But it's all subjective, isn't it? Just like every other contest. If you look at it as an opportunity (as outlined above) and not necessarily the last word in excellence, no lasting damaging should be sustained to ego or psyche. ;-)

ma said...

Okay, obviously it is time to change the subject!

I've eyed the Toronto chapter, since I live in Hamilton, but I've never managed to get to a meeting. (I do not at all like driving into Toronto. Also, with a family I just find Saturday afternoons awkward.)

Jaye said...

no worries, Jorie. I just, finally, made it over to eharl, and found out all the calls had been made. gg. To be honest I've been more concerned with the current wip, than the old ms (which I'm not sure if I'll continue to market as is, anyway.)

I live in Toronto, about a hours ride away (streetcar, then subway) and I found it hard to make it up to the meetings myself, never mind the drive (then find parking) that you'd have to endure. As you say, Saturday's are family time. Plus after hauling butt out of bed toot sweet every morning, it's nice to have a sleep in.

I've been sort of lurking over by your blog. (I know, bad of me for not posting comments) but I'm glad to see you're making headway with your current ms. :-)

ma said...

I'm glad to see you're making headway with your current ms.

Thanks, Jaye.

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