Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Speedwell War - Draft 2 - Status Update 5

Sorry for the radio silence - I've been busy and sick, in that order.  Now I'm on vacation.  I wanted this to be a reading vacation, but I also want to finish writing my novel by the end of the year, so I'm doing some writing instead or reading.

I'm down to eight scenes to write and one scene to re-write to match the current draft better.  That number may shrink due to combining scenes as I write - in fact I know for a fact it will happen at least once.  I'll mention that when the appropriate scenes get written.

Current Word Count: 67,146 words

Now, what I really want to talk about is a small observation that I've heard before but saw in action recently. The observation is this:

If you want to write, read a lot of material that is the type of writing you want to do. 

So, for instance, if you want to write science fiction, READ a lot of science fiction.  It gives you a grounding in what you are trying to write and provides the mental equipment to write.  It should also give you a clue is the brilliant story twist is actually a trope that everyone knows about already and will spot early on or even what tropes are appropriate.  It also gives you better mental space to work in.

I saw this in action on Face Off, the movie make-up/special effects show on 'The Channel Previously Known as The Sci-Fi Channel".  My wife and I were watching Season 3, where one of the contestants had a strict Mennonite upbringing.  She had strong skills in make-up and prosthetics, but limited experience with pop culture.  She had no idea what sort of mind space 'zombies' might or might not inhabit, and the only cyborg experience she had was with Terminator and Terminator 2, which she saw ~20 years earlier, which knocked her out of the running when a cyborg challenge happened.  This lack of cultural experience left her at a severe disadvantage in a special effects competition where design was just as important as technical competency.  In real life it would (and probably does) inhibit her job opportunities.

Writing is the same way.  If you do not have experience at what you want to write about, then your ability to envision (design) what you are writing about is hampered and it will show.  The ability to string words together is limited by your ability to imagine what you are writing about.  If you want to write scripts for TV shows, read scripts and watch the shows to see how things are done.  Expand your mental drafting table/sandbox and your writing will be able to go farther and present more interesting things.

And that's all I have for today.  Later!

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