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22 May 2008 @ 09:26 am
Craft  
Soldering continues to be as frustrating a skill to pursue as it is rewarding (eventually). I am at work on a new ring, one I am absolutely in love with, if I could just get the frelling design to come together right! I won't be able to post pictures until I get it polished up, which might be tomorrow, and might not be until the weekend. But once I have the design down, I'll probably be posting to my Etsy shop as a custom piece - as in, I could make this exact ring for you, but must first have your ring size.

It is so beautiful, it amazes me when I look at it and think "Wow, I am really making this!" If only the making could go just a bit more smoothly and with a lot less frustration and 'doing over' of pieces.

Changing subjects, I had a long conversation with a friend last night about writing (whilst I was hammering and soldering away). He is just beginning to really write, and was seeking advice. I realized while talking to him what a lot I actually know about the craft and business these days - I mean, sure, I still have a lot to learn, but it was sort of surreal, listening to him talk. I haven't been that person (him) in years. Here's a bullet list of the advice I gave him:

~ Write. Don't put off a story you want to tell because it's "too good" for where you're at right now - if you want to write it, write, because three stories from now that one gem won't be the story you want to tell anymore, you'll have some new, better idea. But if you keep putting that one idea off, it will become your only idea, and your writing won't be going anywhere or getting any better. Sit down at the keyboard, and produce words.

~ Go online. Read industry blogs, find writer's groups. You will only learn how the business works by interacting with people who are in the business already. Once upon a time, that meant traveling to conferences. I still advocate that, if you can, but there is literally so much you can gain online now, it's sheer foolishness not to take advantage of that.

~ Realize now, rejection is not personal. Also realize that no matter how often you tell yourself that, you will take it personally, at some time. It happens. When it does, act professionally, do not lash out at whoever rejected you. If you must vent, go to the local pub with your writer/beta reader friends and have a few drinks over the matter. Do not post about it on your journal, because it will get back to industry people who matter - the internet is a much smaller place than we think.

~ Write what you love. Do not write to what you think will sell. If it's something you absolutely have to write, it will be a better story. Trust me.

~ My friend expressed an interest in this last point before I ever brought it up, but I advocate this wholeheartedly to anyone trying to learn some basic craft skills about storytelling - write some fanfic. Pick a movie or TV show or whatever you love, and write some fic for it. Fanfic can teach you so much - you learn characterization, without the pressure of creating all those little character quirks that make them unique. You can learn how to piece a story together- beginning, middle, end. You can learn how to research for a story. And best of all, when you finish it, polish it, and post it, you will get immediate feedback from people. Even if the feedback is all praise and no crit, if nothing else, this will help build your confidence to write the next story. Writers face so much rejection, we need all the confidence we can get. And any crit you do get will help you become a better writer. Fanfic is not the only way to learn these things, but I firmly believe it is a great way to do so.

And speaking of this, I have words to accomplish this morning. It is looking more and more possible that I will be finishing the first draft of Nemesis this weekend. Words cannot express how excited this makes me. I'll be posting a request for beta readers at that point, so if you're interested in reading and giving me feedback on this thing I've been posting about for the last few months, keep an eye out for that post.
 
 
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Gwynna Star: apollostarbuckgwynnastar on May 22nd, 2008 06:24 pm (UTC)
Good advice for new writers.

I'm one of the "put off your story because it's too good" people. It's the Science Fiction Opera I'm semi-writing that's going to be 3 books long. I think that's why it scares me the most...

I actually have a few other story ideas. They appear to be only one book stories, so they don't give me that overwhelming feeling.

And I should write some fanfic again and for the reasons you pointed out. =)