Monday, September 24, 2007

Wyrdsmiths Index

Through September 1st 2007

Plot, Structure, and Outlines

Back Up Your work!
Hated Writing Cliches
Hooks and Openings
Idea Generation
Links to People Saying Smart Things About Writing
Making Time For Writing
Novels Vs. Short Stories
Passion and Persistence–You've Got To Have Both
Recharging the Batteries
Revision and Multiple Drafts
Self Promotion–The Eternal Argument
Submissions and Synopses
The Words
Working Through The Sticky Places
Wrestling With The Internal Editor
Writers Groups
Writer's Resources
Writer/Reader Interface
Writing Environment
Writing Humor
Wyrdsmiths' Credentials


Kelly on writing combat, parts 1, 2, and 3.


Tate on where characters come from.

Kelly on hiring characters.

Kelly on writing character when you're not a character writer.

Tate on creating believable characters.


Lyda on dialogue.

Plot, Structure, and Outlines

Eleanor on definitions of plot.

Sean on Elizabeth Bear and secrets and reveals. With exciting linkback action.

Kelly on taking a novel from conception to completion an outlined model: Parts 1, 2, and 3.

Kelly on ways to think about plot: Parts 1, 2, and 3.

Sean on the value of outlining.

Kelly on Outlines: 1, and 2. Plus Lyda interjects a defense of not outlining and I agree that if outlines don't work for you, don't use them.

Tate on outlines noting that she has to use them for book proposals.


Kelly on voice.

Tate on voice and character.

Kelly on voice and character.

Tate on picking the right telling details.

Tate on the value of the fadeout ending.


Kelly on world building and the willing suspension of disbelief.

Back Up Your Work!

Kelly on the practical aspects of backup.


Sean on establishing the fantastic.

Tate on putting the science in your science fiction.

Naomi on switching genres.

Hated Writing Cliches

Kelly on write what you know.

Eleanor on show-don't tell.

Hooks and Openings

Tate starts a thread on first lines: Tate, Kelly,
Naomi 1 and 2.

Tate on the building and setting of opening hooks.

Eleanor on how to open a story.

Idea Generation

Eleanor on where story ideas come from.

Kelly on dream and story and how the two feed each other.

Sean on mishearing and story generation.

Naomi story as patchwork quilt.

Lyda goes to the idea vault, or wishes she could.

Kelly on building story ideas.

Tate on where to find ideas.

Tate on inspiration, finding it and making it.

Links to People Saying Smart Things About Writing

Kelly links to a great series of publishing diaries at Daily Kos

Kelly links to Making Light linking to novels in progress. Lots of great stuff for revision here.

Tate Links to the devil's publishing dictionary.

Kelly Links to Teresa Nielsen Hayden's response to the devil's publishing dictionary.

Kelly Links to Making Light on slush and the slushpile.

Kelly Links to Making Light for some fabulous discussion of pitches and pitching and why the beginning writer might not need to worry about it so much.

Lyda Links to Jay Lake talking about writers group dynamics.

Making Time For Writing

Eleanor on finding the time for writing

Naomi on the same topic.

Doug on time and place.


Kelly on the difference between real and believable.

Tate on reality and fiction.

Kelly says, in the business of writing money always flows to the writerYog's law.

Kelly on pen names.

Kelly on how and when to break the rules of your world.

Tate on dealing with vampires and sex and other difficult details.

Tate on writing with a message agenda.

Tate on whether it matters if the writer feels the scene as the hope the reader will.

Doug on feeling the scene, or not.

Kelly on the speed of publishing...glacial.

Novels Vs. Short Stories

Kelly on novels vs. short stories and career building.

Passion and Persistence–You've Got To Have Both

Kelly on how you get there.

Lyda on how passion informs writing.

Kelly on practice and craft.

Naomi on "ganas" which is not just another word for passion.

Sean on practice and passion.

Kelly says–write the next story.

Kelly on never giving up.

Elenor on the value of persistance.

Lyda says write what you love. Absolutely.

Doug on writing what you're passionate about.

Kelly on some of the deep reasons why he writes and reads.

Kelly on Deciding Not to Quit.

Kelly on loving the actual work.

Lyda on writing because you love the story.

Recharging the Batteries

ate on taking breaks. It's okay.

Lyda on taking the weekend off.

Kelly on travel as a way to recharge.


Lyda on being in the strange position of having to reject someone else's work.

Kelly on being proud of your rejections.

Kelly on rejects and rejectomancy.

Eleanor on rejections.

Revision and Multiple Drafts

Kelly on the many drafts of a novel.

Doug on the ugly draft.

Kelly on cutting the fat away.

Kelly on knowing when NOT to offer suggestions on someone else's work.

Doug on the revision process, an excellent model.

Eleanor on how she writes and revises.

Tate on signals from Fred, or how to listen when your book is telling you things.

Tate on Everything must serve the plot.

Kelly on owning your work and making the tough decisions on what to keep and what to throw and on how much weight to give the opinions of your critique readers.

Tate on why you can't be too nice to your characters.

Self Promotion–The Eternal Argument

Kelly on the inherent problems of self-promotion.

Tate's rebuttal to same. Or; Kelly left out some important details.

Kelly on things that may be worthwhile in the area of self-promotion as they are low cost and low effort.

Eleanor on self-promotion. When Eleanor speaks we all listen.

Naomi on self-promotion.

Tate and Kelly play tag on things you can do to promote your work: the relatively cheap and
more of that plus the moderately spendy and the bigger bucks. And, another couple for the cheap column.

Kelly on some of the math of a writing career and that it suggests a certain inefficacy on the part of self-promotion.

Kelly on how to write a press release.

Submissions and Synopses

Kelly on never deciding the editor won't like it.

Kelly says send it out.

Kelly on Pitching and Synopses parts 1, 2, and 3.

Kelly on what a synopsis should do.

The Words

Kelly on the right word.

Sean on ack/argh words.

Kelly on learning to trust your taste in words.

Lyda on the taste of words and story.

Tate on the naming of characters.

Kelly on the naming of characters.

Naomi on the naming of characters.

Working Through The Sticky Places

Kelly on plot walks and other methods for breaking the log jam.

Wrestling With The Internal Editor

Doug on wrestling with the internal editor.

Tate on writing stoppers.

Tate on the infernal internal editor.

Writers Groups

Tate on the Wyrdsmiths and the utility of writers groups.

Kelly on the Wyrdsmiths and on rules for writers groups. Or; how to build your own.

Kelly on the many things a group can do for a writer besides the basic critique. This riffs off a post by Jay Lake and links back to it.

Tate on writers groups and getting her start.

Writer's Resources

Kelly on Twin Cities writer's resources.

Kelly on books on writing.

Writer/Reader Interface

Eleanor on what writers owe readers.

Kelly on what does the writer owe the reader and the implicit contract between writer and reader.

Writing Environment

Sean on writing to music.

Kelly on where to write.

Kelly on the means of production.

Doug on writing rituals.

Writing Humor

Sean on the difficulty of writing humor.

Eleanor on how to write humor.

Kelly on how to learn to write funny.

Tate on the writing of humor.

Wyrdsmiths' Credentials

The Wyrdsmiths Bibliography

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