Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Still here

Yeah, I'm still around.

I have been incredibly busy with a lot of different things. Between real work (that actually pays the bills, sadly unlike my writing so far), and other things going on, I haven't been able to keep up the blog. Oh well.

However, it looks like I will be able to resume more regular updates again next month, so all's well. Getting back on track is going to be a lot of fun.

No promises, of course. I'm still going to be pretty busy, but hopefully it won't be as bad. Besides, it was partially my own laziness anyway, and that can be overcome.

And since I need to finish off this brief post with some humor, I am sorry to say that I will not be making a post like this for another few years. You know why? Well, look at the date...

Monday, February 13, 2012

What I say about said

Yes, you read that right.

I recently made a brief post on the SFFWorld forums about the issues with said bookisms. For those unfamiliar with the term, a said bookism is a dialogue tag that avoids using the word "said", or other common words like "asked".

However, I decided that was a little too brief to express myself on this issue. Thankfully, I have a blog just for this sort of thing, so...

Said bookisms, in many literary circles, are regarded as generally bad writing technique. The idea being that your dialogue should be well-written enough that you don't need to bother with using anything else. If the dialogue fails to carry the story, nothing else can.

My first response to such a "lesson" is probably too...impolite...to put in this blog.

The thing is, dialogue tags are supportive in nature. They are there to provide information that cannot be conveyed in the actual dialogue. Stuff like body language, more subtle emotions, environmental description, or other odd actions are why they get used.

The issue arises from amateur writers relying on overly fanciful dialogue tags to provide all the emotional context. This is bad, I agree, but many writers respond to that by overreacting, and taking a super-minimalist approach to dialogue tags. Hence the said bookism hate.

 As I said in the forum post, a balanced approach is better. Of course, it comes down to individual style, which can lean more one way or another. But avoid straying too far in one direction. That way lies repetition. And with great repetition comes not-so-great writing. (With apologies to Uncle Ben.)

With that said (heheheheh), I take my leave for now.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Busy, busy, busy

Well, I bet you wondered if I dropped off the face of the planet. Not so.

I have had a very busy past two weeks, dealing with a number of affairs that came up. I'm not getting into all of them, but among them included preparing for a job interview that never happened (due to some of these other events).

As a result, I barely had any time to devote to my writing over this period. At least it gave me time to think, and I believe I reached a decision regarding my new project.

I came to the conclusion that a sequel to No Place Like Amestraton would have to be on the back burner for a bit. As much as I hate to admit it, I don't think I'm quite ready to handle any future adventures set in that universe, or involving those characters. I need to step back and consider what direction to take those books in further.

So, we come to my new project, which is very different. It's a lot more light-hearted and comical in nature, but it is still fantasy. I'll reveal more once I'm to a point where I feel like I can do so.

I know some people might be disappointed, but ultimately I think I can do better by switching my focus. And I know that if anyone out there likes reading my stuff, they'll want me to get better. So hang on, because it's going to get interesting.

Oh, and have a great February!