In the coming weeks, I’m going to start a new page on this web site that catalogs what I’ll call “Best Practices” in fiction writing. More on that in a minute. First, I want to answer one comment from my last blog entry:
Randy- I must admit, I thought the treleseminars would be more about the anxiety of speaking, esp. since you talked so much about overcoming your own panic. I looked up toastmasters in my area and there are abut 50 groups- I guess I’ll just have to take the plunge. I’m fine in a group if I’m part of the group and not “apart” from the group- so maybe I can learn to feel like I’m just one of the group even if I’m standing up front…if that makes sense!
Randy sez: No, the info page spells out exactly what we’ll talk about. It will NOT be possible to talk about speaking anxiety, since this is a psychological issue with many different causes. Neither Mary nor I are qualified to talk about that. Toastmasters is excellent for dealing with the normal levels of fear of public speaking that most people have. Those folks who suffer from genuine anxiety disorders or panic disorder will need help from a qualified counselor or psychiatrist to solve their problems. (I had both a counselor and a psychiatrist to help me deal with mine and I’m glad I did, because they were both extremely helpful.)
If you haven’t signed up for the teleseminars on public speaking that I’ll be doing with Mary Byers, don’t fergit! They start Monday, October 15. For all the info, click here.
Now back to “Best Practices:”
I’ve done quite a bit of software engineering in my short life (I spent quite a few years as a computational physicist, and to this day I still do a bit of consulting in scientific software). Software people talk about “best practices” in software analysis, design, and implementation. A “best practice” is a technique that is known to produce superior results to solve a particular problem. It sometimes happens that there is more than one “best practice” for a given type of problem, and in that case, you get to choose among them. But you definitely want to stay away from “worst practices”.
There are many different kinds of problems we face in writing fiction:
* How do you design a novel?
* How do you construct a character?
* How do you research a given place or time?
* How do you write a proposal?
* How do you find an agent?
* How do you settle a disagreement with your editor?
* How do you develop your voice?
* How do you choose what facet of writing to work on next?
* How do you promote your novel?
What I would like to find out from you, my loyal blog readers, is what problems you face. Post a comment here with one or more questions of the type I gave above. (No need to repeat those above. I’ve got them on my list.)
What I’ll do is collate all your questions and start finding the “best practice” answer to each one of them. I’ll discuss them here on my blog and then I’ll add an entry on my “Best Practices” page on my web site. In time, we’ll have a resource that answers a ton of questions.
Sound good? Start your comments!