Wednesday Magic District: Technobabble and you!

November 3, 2010 at 7:58 am (Magic District)

Today’s Magic District features Little Timmy, Little Grignr, and the Professor.

Well, actually, it leaves them behind early on, while I go on for a bit about technobabble and its fantasy counterpart, arcanababble. (Is there a better word for the fantasy equivalent of technobabble? I don’t think I’m the first to have come up with this, and I suspect there’s a more elegant term out there.)

Go on over and take a look at some ways to use technobabble to your advantage — and, as a bonus, there’s a short excerpt from a story that won’t be up in Beneath Ceaseless Skies till next year!

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Magic District: Workshop paralysis

October 19, 2010 at 7:33 am (Magic District)

As an attempt to get back into the spirit of blogging — for my own sanity if nothing else — I’ve put up a new post at the Magic District and planned out another for a couple weeks from now.  This one, in honor of this year’s crop of Viable Paradise students, is on that weird, difficult stage of a workshop that takes place well after the goodbyes have been said: writing after the workshop.

(Incidentally, anyone willing to give me a hand on the next post?  What I’m looking for are examples of technobabble done right.  Not just exposition, but the garbledy garbledy SCIENCE!-type (or, if it’s fantasy, garbledy garbledy MYTH!) exposition that would normally be used to explain just why we have to reverse the polarity of the neutron flow or whatever plot-relevant action is needed.  I know there are places where it works, and I want to put together some examples.)

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Wednesday Magic District: Exposition

April 7, 2010 at 7:37 am (Magic District)

Man, I’ve been away from this blog too long.  And I need to update everything.  Bah.

I’ve got some news coming up on some small projects — more later this week — and the revisions for Soul Hunt are coming in shortly, so I’ll be working on that.  In the meantime, I’ve put up a post at the Magic District on exposition and infodumps. Take a look, and as you know, Bob, you can leave a comment either here or there.  (WARNING: that second link will devour all of your time if you let it.)

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Wednesday Magic District: Paying more

February 3, 2010 at 8:59 am (Magic District)

Phew.  I just finished the manuscript of the third book and sent it away to my editor, and I’m now in the “wandering around the house staring vaguely at spots on the wall” stage of writing.  I hope I’ll be blogging (and updating this site!  finally!) more in the next couple of weeks.  For now, I’m going to tinker with a few short stories, maybe explore a little more in different worlds, and, uh, play lots of video games.  (City 17 is mine!  Or would be, if I weren’t so bad at this game.)

In the meantime, I’ve got a post up at the Magic District sparked by the recent Macmillan/Amazon conflict.  Those of you who are writers or who read writers’ blogs probably know far too much already; those of you who don’t, Rachel Aaron’s post at the Magic District sums up some of it, and I’ve got a few more links in today’s post.  While there’s a lot to be discussed about the whole mess, I’m concentrating on one small part, namely what makes readers pay more for books.   I know my purchasing patterns don’t make much sense, but I suspect there are some factors that come into play for most of us.  Take a look, and let me know what you think.

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Wednesday Magic District and some news

December 23, 2009 at 7:51 am (Magic District)

Today’s Magic District touches on books for the season — whether that’s the Christmas season or just the dark end of the year.  (It also unwittingly duplicates Tim Pratt’s post from yesterday, so send any comments to that post instead.

A few pieces of news: I’ll be having a release party for Wild Hunt at Arisia this year. It’ll be Saturday night, details to be arranged later. (In the meantime, I gotta figure out how to run a con party. Eeep!) Hope to see you there!

Also, my short story “A Serpent in the Gears” has been accepted by Beneath Ceaseless Skies! This is a story that I absolutely love, and I’m thrilled it’s found a home with BCS. Honestly, this world — vaguely steampunk, leaning far more into fantasy than technical accuracy — has been taking up a lot of my imagination of late, and I really love working in it.

Revisions of the third book continue, bit by bit. It’s a little annoying that the day job would choose now to move into overdrive, but it can’t be helped, so I’ll persevere.

Best of the season to all of you.  We’re past the solstice; the light will return, a little more each day.

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Wednesday Magic District: Werk werk werk

December 16, 2009 at 8:08 am (Magic District)

…Yes, that’s the sound that chickens make.  Werk…

Today’s Magic District is more than a little whiny, since it’s the outgrowth of my current situation.  To sum it up: day job + revisions + overtime = AAAAAAAAAAAAA.  It should get better soon, but in the meantime aaaaaaaaaaaa.

Also, I’ll have some news soon about the release of Wild Hunt — now with 10% more parties! (Parties may or may not involve cake and/or hats.)

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Wednesday Magic District: Revision The Revisioning

December 2, 2009 at 8:39 am (Magic District)

You are in the middle of revisions.

You have a Magic District post due.

Procrastinate Y/N?

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Wednesday Magic District: Identity and turkey

November 25, 2009 at 8:08 am (Magic District)

No, not identity as a turkey.  Although recently I’ve been feeling brainless enough that I might just stare up into the sky and drown on the rain falling into my open mouths, as turkeys are said to do.

Today’s Magic District is a bit navel-gazy, but it may be topical for anyone dreading certain questions over Thanksgiving dinner.  Also, it brings up an important question:

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Post? Read then post. Post then game.

November 11, 2009 at 8:45 pm (Magic District)

Blog post late. Drat. Fall days move fast.

Late post also Post With Four! Good! Post asks, four weep, four want, four what, four ROCK! (Post with Four good when lazy.)

Also, this here blog post play Game With Four! Grok Game With Four?

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Wednesday Magic District: Books as things

November 4, 2009 at 9:05 am (Magic District)

Today’s Magic District riffs straight off the ARCs post earlier this week: I’m still puzzled by how much of a disconnect there is between my perception of the book and the story I wrote.  I don’t think it’s just me, but then again, I know I’ve got all these weird mental tics about writing.

Also, I have my contributor’s copies of The Best Horror of the Year vol. 1!  They are beautiful (okay, for a value of beautiful that includes naked flayed guy on the cover BUT THEY’RE STILL BEAUTIFUL OKAY) and, from what I’ve read of the other stories, chilling.  I had to stop reading so that I wouldn’t be up till two shivering.

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Wednesday Magic District: Aliens and radio

October 28, 2009 at 7:41 pm (Magic District)

Today’s (late) Magic District touches on one local show — the Big Broadcast of October 30, 1938, taking place this weekend — and on audio fiction in general.  It’s a little scattered, but mostly it’s about how fiction in a radio or podcast format or even just reading a piece aloud makes different demands on the audience and author alike.

I wonder: are there any stories that are solely meant to be read aloud?  Not oral histories as such, but stories that don’t function nearly so well in written format.  Hm.

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Wednesday Magic District: Dreams

October 14, 2009 at 8:05 am (Appearances, Magic District)

Today’s Magic District explores the well of my subconscious mind.  It’s not a pretty place.  It also doesn’t make much sense.  Don’t ask about the severed heads; I still don’t know what’s up with that.

Also — and on a completely different and much less creepy note — just a reminder that tomorrow night I’ll be in Williamstown, reading with Elizabeth Bear at 7:00.  Come join us!

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Wednesday Magic District: Point and laugh

September 30, 2009 at 8:48 pm (Magic District)

Well, the brilliant idea of “compose half a post before work, then finish it as soon as you get home!” got torpedoed by overtime tonight, so today’s Magic District post is up far too late.  Bah.  I do, however, manage to mention the Nakatomi Protocol and “On Fairy-Stories” within a few paragraphs of each other, so that’s something.

Some news to come, but it’ll have to wait till tomorrow morning, because right now I can manage about three words at a time before shutting down.  It’s like my brain is a faulty laptop…no, better stay away from that analogy.

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Wednesday Magic District: Force of habit

September 23, 2009 at 8:04 am (Magic District)

First of all, go read this.  Okay?  Apparently this author has been camping out IN MY BRAIN because that’s the thought process that’s been going on when it comes to sales.  I don’t know how Spiral Hunt is doing.  I assume it’s all right, because angry mobs haven’t come chasing after me with pitchforks and torches.  Saundra Mitchell seems to have the right idea about how to think of this, though — she wrote a book, she got an agent, and her book’s on the shelves.  That’s pretty damn cool.  Occasionally I have to step back from the Amazonomancy and the revisions and remind myself that yes, this is really, really awesome.  I make stuff up!  And then people read it!  Woo!

Also, she’s got the best blog title ever.  Wish I’d thought of it first.

For today’s Magic District — which has absolutely nothing to do with that, unless you want to put both in the broader category of “writer neuroses” — I contribute to the stereotype of the Weird Writer, confess that coffee doesn’t have to be coffee, and try to make sense of habits that make no sense.

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Wednesday Magic District: The long dark night of the revision

September 16, 2009 at 7:47 am (Magic District)

There will always be those times when writing becomes a chore and you can’t see a way out of the dilemma you’ve written yourself into.  And neither can your characters, because you’ve written them all as implausible idiots.  And what’s with that setting? Internal consistency has gone out the window, has it?  And we’re not even getting into the plot problems…

Yeah.  Always that point where the entire work feels like a waste of time.  Hell, I hit that point a couple of weeks ago and I’m fully expecting to have a recurrence before I finish this draft.  But I have to keep on writing.  It’s too bound up in my belief in who I am.  I am a writer, therefore I write even when I’m convinced it’s terrible.

So that’s what today’s Magic District is about: writing even when it doesn’t seem worth it, and getting through the bad patches.  Because it will be worth it when it’s done.  You just have to get there.

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