Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Back on the Blog Chain--Writing Ch-Ch-Changes

This round, Amparo wants us to be like David Bowie: turn and face the strain--I mean, changes:

It's a new year, and some writers have taken it upon themselves to switch things up. *points at self* It might be the genres you write in or your revision process. It might be your main character's voice. What's one thing you've chosen to change in your writing this new year? Why do you wish to change it? If there's nothing you're going to change, why do you think it should remain as is?

As always, I post between Kate and Christine.

I've already discussed my writing goals for this year in a previous post, but I'll summarize them here: I have six projects that I want to publish in 2013. One is already out, two are close to ready, and three still have to be finished and revised. So my goals are results-oriented, not process-oriented like Amparo's. I don't deliberately set out to change my writing techniques, but I find that working on a variety of projects accomplishes it anyway. For example, some of my stories are short, while others are full-length novels. Some stories are in first-person, others in third. The settings range from medieval Verona to our future Earth and an alternative Earth. Every story presents a different challenge, so my writing has to change in response to that.

One thing I probably should change about my writing is using fewer semicolons. That's something my editor mentioned in the line edits for Twinned Universes. Shorter sentences do speed up the pace of fiction; however, there are still times when a leisurely pace is desired or when it's necessary to join two related thoughts. I have no plans to remove any semicolons from my blogging, not just because they're part of my personal style, but because they may also be good for you. According to this study, grammar complexity is linked with reduced risk of Alzheimer's. Unfortunately, that still doesn't motivate me to read Proust, Joyce, or Faulkner, even though the mental workout would be good for my brain.

There is one change that I discussed in my previous blog chain post: doing more outlining and world-building in advance instead of pantsing all the time. When you're writing a series, especially a science-fiction one with a new world, it's vital to be able to track what your world is like. I have to admit that lately I've been writing words in my story, not in my story bible, but that's supposed to be a good thing. Sometimes it's hard to find the balance between writing and accomplishing everything else that supports the writing.

One thing that supports writing is marketing, and I do plan to change my approach this year. As I've mentioned in previous post, I'm experimenting with loss leaders. I also plan to schedule a blog tour for Twinned Universes, even if that delays publication of the book a couple of weeks.

How about you? Are you trying something different with your writing? If so, what is it?


Maria Zannini said...

My editor at Carina Press used to bust my chops about semi-colons. LOL.

She made such an impression on me I try to avoid them now.

Sandra Almazan said...

I might try to cut back on them; however, I refuse to give them up completely. And as you can tell, I may even use an adverb from time to time. Horrors!

Amparo Ortiz said...

OMG Faulkner. I don't blame you for not reading him. I... I... I have no words. O_O

I will vouch for outlining and worldbuilding before writing the manuscript. I tend to dive in and go wild, only to have multiple headaches at the revision stage! No more. :)

Sandra Almazan said...

Amparo, I did read The Sound and the Fury in high school. When my teachers asked me what I thought about it, I told them it was a tale told by an idiot.

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