This year, 2013, I am going to try my hand at a novel. I've done W1S1 for the last two (?) years. When did it start? I have also done NaNoWriMo a couple of times. I haven't had any luck selling a short, although I have gotten a few encouraging rejections and made it past the first round once or twice. I think I'll try my hand at a longer piece. It is going to be a space opera story, set in deep space with humans encountering aliens and of course fighting. It won't be based on a misunderstanding, I hate those premises.
Now what does that title mean to you? Do you take it as a possible true headline? Do you think it is a mix up of cause and effect by some clueless reporter? Is it a straw man set up by some GW skeptic? But this is a blog about writing and SF writing in particular. With that in mind maybe you have concluded that this will be a post about the terrible science that happens in many SF shows. I'm thinking in particular about Revolution. In that show electricity is somehow disabled. Does lighting still happen? How about nerve impulses? Do magnets still work? The earth's field in particular.
I'm thinking about do NaNo this year and would need to start planning a novel very soon. But instead I'm writing this. I do like the idea of plotting the story line and maybe even getting to the point where I have each scene plotted. I started thinking about the snowflake method. It's a detailed outlining guide in which you start at the one sentence idea and end up with a complete scene by scene outline and fully developed characters. I tried it by never got too far.
I was thinking of what if any story idea to use for NaNoWriMo this year. The two that came to mind are both fantasy. Now, I'm a hard SF fan from way back so why is my mind going to fantasy? Why are the first two ideas that pop into my mind vampires and werewolves or magic as the base of technology. Back when I was a kid I would wonder about such science based stories which involved beams and drives and aliens and kids in their basements building devices that did wondrous things. Did I get old?
There is a thread at Absolute Write - http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=252203 about the lack of sex in fantasy or space opera. My contribution to that was:
Every now and then I read on a forum where someone wants to start writing and wonders if they should start with short stories before jumping into novels. Other times it's a novel writer trying to write a short story but finding themselves at 10,000 words before getting to the gist of the story. The common theme is whether writing shorts and writing novels are two aspects of the same thing or very different.
I started this entry quite a while ago but a thread in Absolute Write caused me to focus on it. See the thread at:
The thread started by asking if SF is still the literature of ideas. I'm paraphrasing of course. There was a lot of good discussion util we come to my response.
This is my second rant on this subject (you can find the earlier one below) but this one includes a graph !!!
There is a lot of discussion about the rules of writing. In fact there is only one. I'll tell you later because telling you now would violate the 'Rule'. The other 'rules' are guidelines, hints, advice, styles or models. They say you have to know the 'rules' before you can break them. Well, breaking a rule incurs penalties. You can use bad grammar and get away with it. You can spell wrong, you can have no plot or have no characters. All these have been done in highly acclaimed works and best sellers. No, the only rule is – write so that the reader keeps reading. That's it. Now go write.
More Stories to More Markets is my motto for 2012. W1S1 was a great help in 2011 but now it is time to step it up a notch. It is hard to get momentum going when you sub a story and then wait. Of course the answer is to have more stories in circulation and when/if it gets rejected then send it to another market. Which brings me to another point which I learned last year - is that the subbing and keeping track of subs is hard. Which market wants what type of story and do I have one sub'ed there already.