I’ve been spending the weekend at the Digital Authors/BCX writers conference. While I didn’t moderate a panel this time around, I was a panelist on THINGS I WISH A PRO HAD TOLD ME WHEN I FIRST STARTED WRITING. Along with me were fellow GLAWS writers Marco Subias (Moderator), Brandie June, Chrome Oxide and Neil V. Young.
Marco asked some great questions, too many in an hour for me to list here. But here are a few and my responses:
What piece of advice specifically about the business of writing would you give your younger self? If you’re serious about writing, treat it as a second, part-time job. Be disciplined, set a time every day/week for writing. As Art Holcomb would say, “Guard your writing time”. Brandy added, be in it for the long haul. It takes time to write a novel or screenplay, especially if you have a full-time job.
What piece of advice about interacting with the writing community would you give? As I’ve mentioned before in this blog, I think joining a critique group is the most important thing you can do for your writing. It’s important to learn the craft of writing through books and conferences, but in the end, you have to sit down and write. You need a critique group to point out what you’re doing right and what you need to work on. Also, you don’t need to be alone, a critique group is also your support group. I believe it was Neil that added, shop around, find a critique group that fits you. SHAMELESS PLUG – GLAWS has several critique groups of various genres.
What single how-to book would you recommend to any new writer? Assuming you have a basic understanding of creative writing, high school level or maybe a college course, then I would recommend Christopher Vogler’s, “The Writer’s Journey. He explains and expands on Joseph Campbell’s, “The Hero’s Journey”, discussing plot structure, character types, character development, etc. But he also explains that the writer has his own journey. At some point, a person decides he has something to say and decides to become a writer. That’s his call to action. Along the way, he finds allies, people that support him, fellow writers. He finds Mentors that teach him the craft of writing. These are all The Hero’s Journey terms. If you’re really new to writing and need the basics, then I suggest David Gerrold’s. “Worlds of Wonder”. It’s not just for science fiction and fantasy writers.
As I said, too much information for this article. I’ll continue next week. The conference goes on in the evenings throughout the week and ends next Saturday. You can still join in and attend. Go to http://www.wcwriters.com/da/index.html and hit the registration button.
Dennis Amador Cherry
34th article completed.
First Steampunk novel: 60306 words.
Here’s Chrome Oxide’s book political humor short stories. You can get it in his store at http://chromeoxide.com/writer