The Consortium of the Curious

For those bemused by the bizarre and engrossed in the esoteric.

Tag: craft

Come Join the Honesty Circle

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Truth time. How many of you out there are voracious readers? Further, how many of you are voracious readers of amateur fiction? My advice for this post may seem a little off, but hear me out.

If you’re not already, I think you should be reading at least a chapter a day of something that hasn’t been published.

I know what you’re thinking, “Man, he’s just trying to con me into reading his crap.” Boy do I wish the answer were that simple. The truth is this post was inspired by a writer friend of mine. I asked him, “What are you reading currently.” To which I got the response: “I don’t have time to read. I’m a writer.”

 

I’ll let you catch your breath.

 

First, one cannot be a writer without being a reader. I don’t care who disagrees. The first person to comment here that’s had a book published and tells me they don’t read anything because they’re a writer wins a prize. Second, writers should not only be writing their own fiction, but they should be helping others discover the power, beauty, and fun of words. Whether that means helping someone learn to read or learn to write is sort of moot. It all blends together.

Now, why am I suggesting you read non-published works? There are a few reasons: (1) If you’ve found someone like my friend, this will teach you how not to write. [Which is actually very important.] (2) You can more readily see where common mistakes are occuring. (3) And most important, you can begin to network with these other writers. No matter what kinds of errors they’re making, they can teach you something, and you can teach them.

 

Folks, it takes a village to write a novel. 

Audio Challenge

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So I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, and a lot of this thinking is taking place in my car. 

 

As an experiment, I’ve turned my car stereo into a library. The rationale being that I can listen to the cadence of books during my commute. I know a lot of you out there–myself included–use music as inspiration while you write. Now I hope none of you are writing in your notebook while your driving, so I can assume you have a free ear. My challenge, therefore, is for all of you writery types out there to use your car stereos as writing coaches.

 

(If you don’t have a car stereo, I guess this post really isn’t for you, but perhaps you can come up with an analogous scenario.)

I’m approaching my month with this tactic and show no signs of slowing.

 

One word of caution:

I highly recommend listening to books that are not in the genre you’re choosing to write in. While this certainly isn’t a requirement, I find it immensely helpful. You, after all, don’t want to steal someone’s voice no matter how subconscious the theft might be. Furthermore, you don’t really run the risk of turning your cozy mystery into a hard-boiled thriller just by listening.

 

Oh and there’s more. I do have two suggestions for audio books.

 

Suggestion the first:

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Make sure to get the one narrated by Eric Conger; I can’t speak to any others.

This is a spinoff of John Sanford’s “Prey” series. If you like realistic settings, quirky characters, and a little bit of dark mystery, then this is totally for you. 

 

Suggestion the second:

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Make sure to get the one narrated by Christina Moore; again, I can’t speak to any others.

 

If you like completely unrealistic dialogue (but in a great way), quirky characters, and light mystery, then this is definitely for you. Also, I read the first three books and listened to the fourth on audio. I’ve not read any others since. The narrator is that good. In fact, I went back and started the series again solely by CD this time.

 

So that’s the challenge. Take it or leave it. But whatever you do, I’m going to continue because this is one challenge that is so easy it feels like I should have been doing this all of my life.

 

If you already do this, please offer some suggestions!

If you don’t and decide to try, please let me know how it goes!

 

And that’s the news from Lake Wobegone. 

Craft Services and Other Bad Ideas

As part of my resolve to write more, I decided that I should blog more too. You know, keep people interested in the stuff I have to say. I also set the start date for the chapter releases three weeks after the blog’s creation. I did this so I’d have some of them in advance, that way I ran a smaller risk of not releasing things in a timely manner.

 

Problem is I’m running out of things to talk about before the first chapter makes its debut. 

 

So then I figured if I can’t give writing advice, (because let’s face it, I have amateur written all over me) then the least I can do is explain how I do my thing. If it helps anyone else, then excellent. If not, I’ll attempt to find it cathartic anyway.

 

So this blog’s subject will be music. Do you write while listening to music? Do certain artists inspire stories for you? I’m interested to know because I have a guilty little secret.

 

Two words: Glenn Miller.

 

For some reason, no matter what genre I’m writing in or what the story is about, Glenn sets my frazzled nerves at ease. I honestly believe you could set almost any scene in the world to Moonlight Serenade. (We should really try that on a YouTube channel.)

 

So writers, who’s your go to inspiration when you need to calm your head and put your nose to the grindstone?

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