...and where you can misspell filbert.
Have we seen this before?
Well, here it is, preserved for posterity:
Ten Secrets for Dazzling Query Letters by Rachel Vater.
Last night was the first meeting of the posse. :D And while our purpose remains to be a place where writers can act like nuts, it goes without saying that we also act like writers. (Whatever writers act like!) In that vein we discussed this (previously linked but here it is again anyhow) article:
Ditching the Book of My Heart for the Book of My Voice" by Julie Leto.
I've read a gadillion articles on the subject of voice without ever figuring out precisely what it is, and while I'm still not sure, I at least now have a theory to go on, and that makes this article the best so far. I now believe Voice = The Author's Share of Liver.
According to Leto, voice is composed of things like description, characters, style and structure, plot, premise and theme, but more importantly it's the way an author best employs these elements in the creation of a story. If I understood correctly, voice is not craft, and arrives when an author develops enough self confidence to stop struggling every minute with matters of craft--in other words, when s/he gets to that point where s/he can wrestle the inner weasel into submission long enough to let the voice through.
It still seems like the author's share of liver isn't much if any more within our control than the readers share is. I guess that only leaves us with craft to control.
(I'm not too fond of the term craft. It sounds too much like either witchery or stitchery.)
What I got out of the session was one less thing to worry about. And that's always a good thing IMO.
Not really nutty, but I found this via Diana Peterfreund's blog. It's an article by Julie Elizabeth Leto called, "Ditching the Book of My Heart for the Book of My Voice.
I haven't finished reading it, but I wanted to save it (since I am ever fascinated and baffled by the subject of voice) and this seemed like a good spot. Maybe we'll want to discuss it later.
Or maybe not. There's that whole ~~Sometimes you feel like a nut~~ thing.
But it wouldn't let me....so I am going to put it here.
Cause I want to.
And catching the inevitable 'snafus'
Seems the name of my world (which I honestly DID make up all on my own and which meant in their language ElfHome) is only two short letters away from a word used by Tolkien also as a place name.
Much as I believe that Tolkien fans will hopefully embrace my world and characters I would not presume to tread THAT closely to his work. It's just too close for comfort.
This is a very distressing revelation and will, of course, necessitate immediate rewrites. Well, as soon as I think of a NEW name for their world.
Drat, drat, DOUBLE drat.
I did so love the sound of that name.
But revisions and corrections are part of the 'polish' to get a ms ready for the real world. If it is painful now, how much more so to have some agent or editor say..."wwwwwwaaaiiitt just a minute here--you can't use THIS...." Better to have found and corrected it myself.
It is not as if I have not already begun undertaking many such changes. I have changed the names of several of my races of beings, the name of my primary human land and city, and even the names both secondary and one primary character. Not done yet. I am sure there will be much more before this is over. And THAT is just the easy stuff. The things I can find and change on my own.
I know the agent and editor will each find much, much more and demand much more difficult revisions. What I think I dread most are the CUTS. Cut this scene. Cut 10K words. UGGGGHHHH.
And will I do it?
Oh yes. Because in the end my story will be better for it.
And my lovely non-Elf will finally make his debut into our world...
Yes. DEF worth it.
I am in a 'nutty' mood. Very much in need of fellow nuts...but as my universe seems to rotate in opposition to the normal nuttiverse I am flying (or is that falling?) solo.
Today I discussed weasely issues with other writers...in what should therefore be a semi-weasel-free zone. After all there are potential weasels in many domains and writers are often our own worst weasels. This being the only truly weasel free zone I know :)
I genuinely expected no major flashes of 'brilliance' this afternoon. It was more a sounding-board venture. After all, others vent and ellucidate upon their ideas, plots and (eeek) themes...and in general you receive several rather well-meaning but pointless pats and encouragment to 'keep on keeping on' and 'you're doing fine' AND a small amount of actual thoughtful feedback. Hmmm...remind me not to go looking for fantasy nuttiness among the non-fantasied.
I KNOW that the powers-that-be (specifically dear Ann) SAY that you can receive equally good help from those who do not read your genre but I respectfully beg to differ. They need not WRITE your genre but it darn well helps if they at least have a passing knowledge about it.
To wit: I was told I needed to "highlight" my main theme (not that I am even certain what it IS...but they were specifically talking about the correlation between Aerlinn's journey and what is happening in his world. I guess that is a theme? but how the heck does one just randomly "highlight" such a thing? Does the unfolding of the story itself not serve that purpose?
On the topic of portals they informed me it did not matter what the agents/editors 'wanted'...I should just write whatever 'made me happy' and surely that would be good enough. Uh huh. And that, after all, publication was not really anything you needed to address in your writing. If your story was 'good enough' it would make it regardless. Hmmmm... I sure haven't noticed it working that way. Still... I suppose it would be a lot less stressful that way.
There were a few other 'details' (superhero syndrome, worlds and the limitations of story telling, and my enigmatic 'stones') I would have loved feedback on and even though'audience' had time to discuss their writing and kept asking me to discuss mine it was abundantly clear they were not up to such discussion and instead wandered off to less-taxing...and probably less weasel-y...topics like real life, jobs, and weekend plans. yippee.
At this point...I think I miss my weasel. At least he listened!
I really don't know why I'm doing this, except that I've always wanted to belong to a community of writers that is all about support and not about trying to find some alchemical formula that might allow us to turn leaden prose into gold.
And especially do I hate it when someone so needs to believe there is such a formula that he or she tries to foist it on everyone and anyone who's ever written so much as a grocery list.
(What the heck is a laundry list? Do people actually make lists of laundry?)
I mean this as a place for writers to play, to act like nuts, to blow off steam, to gripe about anything. A place to take support and to give it.
What I don't mean is for this to become the Empire of the Warm Fuzzies; I believe in truth, even when it sucks, but also in being considerate of others. Is the combination too much to ask? Gads, I hope not.
This will probably also not be a source of prompts or projects, although if I think up a good one, I may post it. Deciding for sure one way or the other would be too much like making rules, and I ain't-a gonna. My motto: "Don't make me make a rule, dammit!"
And if anyone has any suggestions, I will listen gladly.