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  1. #16
    Registered User trailhound's Avatar
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    Jan 2003
    the orion arm: some 30000 light years from the core

    Any thoughts on how to seek The Muses' Favor?

    There are days when The Cup of Their Love, It Brimmeth over.

    And days when I feel like slinking into the nearest wormhole and work on un-existifying myself

    I'd like to pare down the latter.

  2. #17
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Greenbush, Minnesota
    Hey Trailhound:

    When the Muse abandons me, I force something. How? I just start writing, even if I don't have any idea, or maybe just the tiniest scrap of an idea. I keep my fingers in motion, forcing my brain to kick into gear -- I think the creative mind will eventually follow the physical body if you start forcing your body through the mere motions of writing.

    It's amazing how I start out writing just random sentences, when suddenly, the Muse jumps on, the brain kicks in, and before you know it, you're off on a piece of writing that seems to be going somewhere. They key is not to worry if you're only writing nonsense and dribble at first -- just keep the process going until it works, or you pass out, which ever comes first.

    Have you ever "push started" a car with a dead battery? When you get rolling, you pop the clutch, and the darned things starts for some reason of brutal mechanical physics. I really believe the creative process works in much the same way. It can be "push started."

    Here's another idea which I read that the SF great James Blish often used -- he plagarized from himself! When Blish was stuck for something to write, he went back over his completed work and started writing a knock-off of that previous piece of work -- and eventually it turned original. As an added bonus, you can't get arrested for plagarizing yourself!

    One more interesting anecdote: I read that Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards often uses an interesting method of coming up with a new song -- he plays 25 of his favorite songs written by someone else, and then, and in his words, "hopes something good falls of the end of my guitar."

    Now -- get thee to the keyboard!!!!!!!

  3. #18
    Registered User Duarh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Riga, LV/Portland, OR
    I can confirm the recommendations for

    Telling Lies for Fun and Profit by Lawrence Block

    Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury

    arrived from amazon yesterday. Very nice, inspirational books. Thanks to the recommenders in this thread!

  4. #19
    Well, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of aaallll ages...

    ...I'm now in the process of building up an extensive list of internet writing resources, by category where I can.

    Click on this link and look out the "For Writers" board.

    It's still an ongoing project - I've only had a little time this afternoon to start - but hopefully it'll become very comprehensive.

    There should be something useful there for any writer - but if you have any requests, make it there and I'll do some serious surfing to find some decent links.

    Anyway, have fun,

    Last edited by I, Brian; July 5th, 2003 at 04:33 AM.

  5. #20
    Registered User trailhound's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    the orion arm: some 30000 light years from the core
    Thanks, Ken.

    Forcing it thru works, yeah. Sometimes need to kick the chassis a bit, though
    I plagiarize from self too, actually! Recycled stuff, turns out to be interesting once in a way.
    I find your rock'n'roll references most apposite. 'm a drummer/lyrikist. We used to do cover versions of some Stones stuff ( did more of The Who though)

  6. #21
    Barcelona! milamber_reborn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Perth, Australia
    'Story' by Robert McKee
    'Self-Editing for Fiction Writers' by Renni Browne & Dave King
    'The 38 Most Common Writing Mistakes' by Jack Bickham

  7. #22
    EDIT: forum opened to the public again.


    - watch for the "For Writers" board for some great on and offline resources for sf/f writing, research, market and publishing info.
    Last edited by I, Brian; July 5th, 2003 at 04:32 AM.

  8. #23
    This is an excellent resource for writers:

    Look under 'Research Resources' for links on medieval clothing, weapons, demography, maps, etc.

    Very well done.


  9. #24
    Keeper of the Hikari Radthorne's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Bothell, WA USA
    Great site, deepmagic! Thanks for adding it. This should be a tremendous help for all our fantasy writers (I've already found some good stuff through some of the links!)

  10. #25
    Edited for submission Holbrook's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    In the Shire
    Blog Entries
    Interesting link, seeing that one of the sites linked for info of the swordie nature is my home one............

  11. #26
    Witch of the Woods Miriamele's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Windsor, Ontario, Canada
    Yeah thanks Jeff, there are some interesting links on that site. I especially enjoyed the article about codpieces...

    Here are a couple of other pretty decent links I found:
    Fantasy Worldbuilding Questions
    Fantasy Writers' Resources
    The Market List
    Writer's Resource Page

    There really is a lot of useful info to be found on the Web.
    Last edited by Miriamele; February 11th, 2003 at 10:53 AM.

  12. #27
    Witch of the Woods Miriamele's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Windsor, Ontario, Canada
    Here's another really good one I just found:
    Dave's Somewhat Complete SF/F Writer's Internet Resources
    It lists publications, organizations, market news, online workshops, reference sources, and general advice.

  13. #28
    I use quite a lot of maps while writing (especially floorplans for castles and mansions if my characters are there for a prolonged period).

    For original maps/plans I use AutoRealm.

    It's a pretty basic, but simple to use, cartography/plan design program but (this is the best bit) it's free to download.

  14. #29
    I read 'Dare to be a Great Writer' by Leonard Bishop years ago and even tho some of the information is a little dated it is highly inspirational. I'd recommend anyone who wants to write but skipped formal education to read it... especially the introduction.

    I'd like to hear what Hereford Eye gleaned from reading this book: Woman - An Intimate Geography. I think that the concept is outrageous! I'm also wondering if I should read it... it might give me some nice conformist tips...

  15. #30
    Just Another Philistine Hereford Eye's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Charter Member, Restore Pluto Initiative
    Originally posted by Rocketsheep
    I'm also wondering if I should read it... it might give me some nice conformist tips...
    Conformist tips on biological facts (a woman is born wtih @400,000 eggs and it is a process of attrition thereafter) to the differences between X and Y chromosomes to the amazing variation in externals to estrogen pluses and minuses.
    I don't remember the facts so much as the impressions of the author and the women interviewed. I think I gained a perspective otherwise not available as men and women generally do not sit down to discuss what our bodies feel like (until they hit old age when that's all we talk about but most of it is not useful writing science fiction and fantasy.)
    Heinlein wrote about the differing centers of gravity between male and female but drew no conclusions, just inserted it as a fact. He talked about sociological issues in I Will Fear No Evil but I rmember the entire story as a liberal male interpretation of being female. Jack Chalker I always enjoyed but never took sreiously.
    Since I like women a lot, I keep looking for the other interpretation of being female. I want my writing to reflect appreciation if not understanding of alternate points of view.
    Last edited by Hereford Eye; February 23rd, 2003 at 07:49 AM.

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