I said I’d be done editing The Last Pendragon by the middle of this week…apparently, I was wrong. I’m in the midst of writing a new section in one of the chapters. It’s a thousand words and growing.
Stay tuned, though–I’m gonna post the cover blurb later this week, the first page teaser next week, and probably the first chapter the week after.
I’ve been teaching composition for ten years as of this August. I’ve taught expository writing and persuasive writing equally often during that time, and it occurs to me that most of my students come to me knowing nothing about writing except that it’s hard.
Except…it’s not hard. Writing is actually really easy, if you know how to do it. In times past, that was taught in elementary school. I guess it’s not taught even in high school any longer.
So, I figured I’d write a series of posts about what’s important in writing anything from a letter to the editor to an article to an editorial to a blog post meant to do nothing but entertain.
First, before you put pen to paper (or pull up a document of whatever type in your word processor program), you need to decide why you’re writing. Do you want to teach someone how to do something? Make somebody laugh? Persuade your local congresscritter to vote against something?
The reason you’re writing is your purpose. It’s incredibly important–as important as the words on the page, because it dictates literally everything else: your focus on your topic, your organization, how thoroughly developed your writing needs to be (or how concise), your tone and style, and how much attention you have to pay to your grammar and editing.
So…what do you want to write? Think about that. Write it down.
I recently commented on a blog post about the gender distribution among authors in Science Fiction and fantasy. Most hard science scifi authors are male. Most fantasy authors are (with some notable and excellent exceptions) are female. Romance as a genre is almost completely dominated by female authors (with a few awful exceptions).
What gives? Simple. Everybody writes what they want to read. Men like adventure, hard science, engineering, military thrillers, and other things that gets the blood and testosterone pumping, and the brain working. Women prefer things that deal with interpersonal relationships–sociological science fiction (where the majority of female scifi writers tend to gravitate), sword and sorcery fantasy, unicorns, romance (both in the original definition and the modern one that borders on porn).
It’s not rocket surgery. And trying to set up some stupid, unattainable quota will have the same effect that title IX had on sports–punishing men, because fewer women want to do what the boys do.
I logged into my CreateSpace account, today, just on a whim. I found out that I’d sold a paper copy of The Godshead in Britain, and another somewhere in Europe. Holy crap! That is so awesome! I can now say that almost a quarter of my paperback sales figures are in foreign markets, if I feel like being pretentious.
I got my living room vacuumed, last week. Much better.
I got about half of my writing goals accomplished, too–two chapters and about 3,000 words. I’m going to shoot for a bit more this week.
My other goals? I want to get half my kitchen cabinets emptied out for tear out. We’re pretty much set for what we’re going to be doing, and stayed pretty close to my original budget.