Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Kathryn Joosten

An acquaintance of mine, Kathryn Joosten, has just been nominated for an Emmy for her guest-starring performance in Desparate Housewives. Going for her dreams at age 42 and arriving in Hollywood only ten years ago, Kathy's story is awe-inspiring. You don't have to be an actor to recognize the truths in her testimonies. Just as JK Rowling's rag-to-riches story is inspirational to all writers, Kathy's story is just as thought-provoking. Read it here:

An interview with Kathryn Joosten: Part I.

An interview with Kathryn Joosten: Part II.

An interview with Kathryn Joosten: Part III.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Organic or Mechanic

Question: Should we write and follow a detailed outline or should we write organically? Or both?

Answer:

Whatever works best for you....

Some people need to have everything planned. They need to have charts and notes and diagrams and outlines and everything laid out exactly how the story is going to be built. They need the blueprint and specs, down to the detailed measurements. And if they have the skills, the house will be spectacular.

Some people don't like to stick to a schedule or an itinerary. They want to explore and be surprised and see where the journey takes them. And if they're good, it might be one hell of a trip!

Know yourself.

If you're a poor planner, don't try to outline and plan out the whole thing and fit your characters in pre-defined situations and tell them exactly what they should do...

If you don't appreciate spontaneity, don't try to wing it without a plan or outline...

Personally, I like to use both methods. I like to know where I'm going and what general direction I am taking. But I also like to be surprised -- I like it when my characters take me on a detour. It's unexpected and exciting. But eventually, I'd have to say, "Hey guys, we should get back on the highway soon if we want to get to the west coast." And I want to make sure that we don't end up in New York.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Alpha Beta?

Alpha Readers are yourself and your co-writers, maybe even an editor who works closely with you. Once you've finished a draft, put it aside of a while, then read it as a reader and read it out loud -- you are now your own alpha reader.

Beta Readers are first and foremost READERS. They are the first people who will read your books with a reader's eye. They're your test audience. Once you have a second or third draft done, send it out to your betas.

Workshopping is a different and separate process. It's best done with other writers.

Friday, July 8, 2005

Question of the day

What makes you weep like a baby?


(post your answer in a comment)

Why do something?

Quoting an online friend, Mr. Ed Black:

1. Pick something you love to do and can do better than 90% of the people in the world
2. Do it over and over, again and again
3. Better yet, have someone pay you for doing it
4. Quit when you no longer love doing it (doesn't matter if someone is still paying you)
5. Repeat