My trusty online dictionary (It’s on the Internet! It must be true!) says that the word dilettante is originally Italian, “person loving the arts,” from dilettare, “to delight.” That’s a nice etymology, which makes me feel a little better about the word even though the real meaning is “someone who’s interested in a subject but not necessarily knowledgeable or committed to it.” So today’s disjointed, scrambled, late Magic District post covers part of what I like about skipping from genre to genre, both as a writer and a reader.
And now, back to slogging through the revision. I can make this work, I know it, I’ll just have to add pirates keep writing.
Today’s Magic District is more about the act of reading than about any book in particular. It’s also about taking in fiction through other mediums (TV, movies) and how I have this weird, uncritical first response to it, which results in such problems as trying to justify The Phantom Menace, Jar-Jar and all. Not my best critical moment, certainly.
(…Anyone else hear the opening bit of that one Information Society song whenever they hear those three words? No? Okay, it’s just me.)
A little late, but today’s Magic District touches very lightly on cities in fantasy — specifically, how each has its own personality. Montreal got me thinking about the soul of a city, partly because I could not pin down what it was I loved so much about the city. (Aside from tasty food everywhere. EVERYWHERE. I had the best sandwich I’d ever had, and that was just from a stall at the Les Francofolies music festival.) I’d be curious to see what other fantastic cities I’ve forgotten — the ones that came to mind were a bit scattershot.
Today’s Magic District follows on the heels of last week’s: instead of how to get through a crit session, it’s now what to do afterwards. It’s pretty subjective — about all I could do was present my own experience and extrapolate from that — but there are some good principles about addressing critiques.
I’ll try to have my Worldcon schedule up tomorrow or Friday (yes, I’m lax on the teapots). It looks…pretty busy, actually. I’m feeling outclassed and nervous already, but that’s nothing new.
Today’s Wednesday Magic District talks a little about workshops and how to get through them without tearing your notebook in half, flinging it at the critiquers, and gibbering in a corner for the next hour. It’s also got a couple of important links to the Worldcon Writers’ Workshop, which I’ll have the honor of assisting this year. Take a look, and tell me if you think I’ve gone off the deep end from one too many crits.
Also, there’s a review of Spiral Hunt up in Strange Horizons today: “Fans of kick-ass heroines and well written characters rejoice!” Wheeee!
Okay, so writing my Magic District post late at night is not the best idea, since it turns out I then forget to link to it from here. (Not that much traffic goes from here, but what the hell why not.) But the post itself turned out all right, concerning Gentlemen of the Road, swashbuckling, genre loyalty, and stubbornness. Go take a look!
I return! With a post! And plans for more posts!
Today’s Magic District is all about endings — specifically, endings that don’t work. I’m not entirely sure what it is that makes an ending work in the context of the story, and all of the criteria that come to mind are reader-specific; that is, things I notice as a reader instead of things I can work on as a writer. It’s a little like the difference between saying “there’s a weird clunking noise in the engine” and “aha, the rear infundibulator reticulation is out of alignment.”
Hm. Maybe there’s a post to be made about the difference in perceiving problems while writing and reading. I’ll see if I can come up with one for Monday.
Today’s Magic District was originally the subject of some great plans when I came up with the idea. Great plans. Unfortunately, the plans were utter crap, so I went with a list of What I’ve Learned From Fiction About Weddings.
And yes, as it says, I’ll be getting married this weekend, so expect sparse blogging. Sparser. Anyway.
So, following those lines, here are a few important questions:
I’ve been really lousy about blogging lately, and I promise I’ll have more up soon (I’ve got a couple of announcements, and then there’s the Wiscon-is-awesome statement, and…yeah, way too much stuff). As both excuse and explanation, I present this week’s Magic District post: In which I steal an old post.
A theory: I has it.
I’ll post a bit about WisCon by the end of the week (short version: it ruled; long version: it ruled hard), but for now there’s today’s Magic District post. It’s probably just the result of an overtired brain, but it’s a theory about plot — internal and external arcs — and what drives it. Also, I get to talk about Princess Asskicker, the Twinklestone, Lord Evil Von Nasty, and Yonkers.
Today’s Magic District post offers a glimpse of my writing process — specifically, the part of the writing process that happens when I get stuck, stuck, stuck. I’m not thoroughly stuck* at the moment, just wrestling with a piece of the story that isn’t turning out how I’d planned.
And here I thought setting all of my characters on fire would help matters.
* And yes, I know that sounds a bit like the old assertion: “We’re not lost. If we were lost, we wouldn’t know where we are. And we know we’re here. So we’re not lost.”
Okay, so it’s not Wednesday. I was late with this week’s post — depending on what time zone you’re in, I got it in either six minutes too late or with fifty-four minutes to spare.
Anyway, the post is a confession of mine: I’m a gamer geek. And I’m the kind who’ll forget the rules, lose dice, goof up the game…and then have a blast with the stories from it.
And writing it has gotten me in the mood to play another game of Shab-al-Hiri Roach. Hmm…
Somehow, when I say the title of this post, it comes out sounding less like James Brown and more like The Flying Lizards.
Today’s Magic District post could easily be titled “Do as I say, not as I do.” In other words, it’s about the importance of exercise and physical activity to writing. That’s a bit of a stretch for me, since, as I say in the post, “left to my own devices, I’d spend most evenings sacked out on the couch.” Go take a look, or else turn off the computer and go get some fresh air. (Wish I could.)