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Friday, January 2, 2015

Kevin J Anderson, Rebecca Moesta & Roger Zelazny on Author Word-Count Targets

Morning Worship - 12/28/14

At Science Fiction conventions, husband-and-wife authors Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta often encourage young writers to make the most of their free time, even if it only means snatching a free five or fifteen minutes to write. Personally, I find contributing anything to a sustained narrative difficult in such a short amount of time. It seems as if it takes me ten or fifteen minutes to read through what I wrote the day before before I can resume where I left off. But I often find myself exhausted creatively by the time I finish my target word count, and if I still feel in the groove, and continue onward, I later find myself so addled that I'm wrung out emotionally and intellectually for the rest of the day. 

The late, great Roger Zelazny stated this approach in slightly different terms. Instead of setting aside a single block of time to write (say, for example) 1,000 words, carve out four smaller blocks throughout the day to write 250 words each. That may only amount to a few sentences or a paragraph at each sitting, but at the end of the day, it all adds up. If you're like me, it will probably take you time to get your creative juices flowing, but hopefully that initial writing period will prompt further ideas that will aid successive writing spurts. 

With each year's beginning, I ponder how I can do things differently, how I can make my efforts more effective, and more readily achieve my goals. Chief among those, of course, is my desire to get my novels published. I'm wondering if I can use Anderson, Moesta, and Zelazny's advice to help me achieve more than I have in the past. How I go about putting that idea into practice, however, remains to be seen.

In the meantime, I have put the above writers' advice into practice in a related but different way. My wife and I have attended church infrequently of late. As an added enticement to attend, I've started bringing my sketching kit to these services. Anglican worship, with its communal readings, prayers and singing, doesn't necessarily allow for a great deal of sketching-time. But in the little time available to me in last Sunday's worship service, I did this simple sketch, and began coloring it in. I then took about fifteen more minutes later on to finish the coloring. It's not anything much, but I may add to it at a later date. Still, it's something I wouldn't have done if I hadn't taken my sketching materials and used the limited time available to me to be creative.

Hopefully, that's something I'll remember each day as I sit down to write.

Dragon Dave

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