I’ve been journalling for a while now, but only started doing it regularly fairly recently after reading “The Artist’s Way: A Course in Discovering and Recovering Your Creative Self” (Julia Cameron), particularly the bit on Morning Pages, bits of splurge that you’re supposed to write every morning. I have been doing them on my Mac, writing in Journler, but I find workingon my mac a little too distracting, at least for my early morning self – even with something like WriteRoom.

In an moment of Serendipity, I saw this article over at paper journals. Specifically this quote interested me:

Make sure there are no distractions while you write. That means no television, no people talking to you, zero interruptions while writing. If you can’t find a quiet place, put some headphones on and drown out conversations around you. It’s so important to eliminate distractions if you really want your journal to be a big help.

So I’m reminded of my interest in paper. Form tomorrow, I’ll go back to my paper Moleskine journal and start in that again. It’s not like a generally need to go back to previous journal entries anyway, although re-reading them is often fun.

On Fantasy

So I came to a realization the other day abot the nature of fantasy. Well, okay, not a realization per se – that implies it’s some sort of authoritative truth, and this really isn’t, more of a… well, a new belief.

Previously, I had always seen ‘Fantasy’ as a genre, insofar as any can exist. After all, it has it’s own unique set of conventions and oddities and specialized writers. And yes, all genres are really a construct of booksellers to make it easier for people to pick out books they want to buy, but I thought there was still something in it.

But then I started reading more historical fiction – most notably Bernard Cornwell – and realized that, well, most fantasy is just historical ficiton about things that didn’t happena dn people that never existed.

And a lot of my favourite books do this to, but with different genres: like Robin Hobb’s Farseer trilogy, which is a tense political thriller. Granted, a tense political thriller set in a place that doesn’t exist and with a dash of magic thrown in, but with a little retooling it could work in almost any setting.

Which is a pretty important realization for me. It also read to the realization that I’m not a ‘fantasy author’ – indeed, no-one is – but instead I’m a thriller author who uses fantasy in his settings and plots.


An Update

So I’ve started reading The Novel and it’s surprisingly okay. Not blowing me away, but that’s just because the actual word by word writing sometimes falls flat on its face and has numerous typoes. But that’s to be expected when I’m… well, typing something.

But it’s not horrific, aside from the first two chapters. It’s well structured, leaving me a neither a nervous wreck nor sending me to sleep (which the first draft actually did at points – it was so high tension for the most part that when I let the tension off I fell asleep).

Must do some more work on the Daily Flash I’m currently engagin in a touch of brinkmanship with it, writing a post and then editing and posting it the next day. It’s not ideal, as things won’t work if I fall ill or something. So my plan is to write a hojillion flashes (well, fourteen) and get them in a post queue. Two a day for a week should do it, and should also provide an interesting challenge.

On Values as a characterization tool

So I’ve been looking into values for personal development a lot lately (detailed over at my other blog HifeLacking), and I hit on something – values and value conflicts are perfect for characterization. If you make a list of a character’s values and then look for difficulties, you can then throw them into a situation where their values contradict one another and watch the fun start. Or pain, if you prefer the term. But pain can be fun when watching a character.

Oh gods, I think I’m turning into George R.R. Martin…