Time to start something new…

Well, I got the spiders revised by Sunday, and haven’t done much in the way of writing since then, so the time has come to post another goal…a brand new story by August 27th. I haven’t picked out an idea yet, but I do have a few things swirling around in my head.

I’m hoping to set up a pattern for myself where I alternate between writing something new and revising the stories I wrote at Clarion. That way I’ll always have something to do while the fresh stories sit for a bit, and I’ll always have a backlog of stories that need revising. Or that’s the theory anyway. I’m a bit nervous actually about trying to write something new now that the workshop is over (quite possibly because several people told me ‘don’t worry if you don’t write for six months after the workshop’). Revisions didn’t bother me, but then again, revisions don’t start with a blank white screen.


  1. Ooh, a public deadline!

    So that means we’ll see a new story to crit by Aug. 28th, right? Excellent. Will we also be seeing the revised spiders?

    The thought of all those swirling ideas made me dizzy.

    Oh, and don’t worry about that blank white screen. If you don’t like it, you can always change the color. Or put some words on it. Any words, no need to get picky about it. You can always change them later.


    • Re: Ooh, a public deadline!

      I don’t think I’m going to run the revised spiders through the group, but I’ll put the new one up when it’s done.

      Any words, eh? How about:

      the difference between writing and not writing is not as great as you might think
      the difference between writing and not writing is not as great as you might think
      the difference between writing and not writing is not as great as you might think


      • Re: Ooh, a public deadline!

        those sound like good words for me, but I’m snarky that way. There was also this suggestion I think somewhere off the SFWA site, that said you should make all the words white text on white background, so that you see the white screen when you actually are doing words, and thus overcome the scary blank pageness.

        Now I want a fuzzy stuffed spider.

        • Re: Ooh, a public deadline!

          Now there’s an interesting idea – the white cow in a snowstorm approach to writing. Then, instead of changing the settings, I could print it white-on-white, and everyone who read it could invent their own story! Then the difference between writing and not writing really wouldn’t be as great as you might think!!

  2. Well, a public deadline’s a cool thing to set yourself. I’m also trying to alternate between a new piece and a revision of something from the past. I got so stuck on the superhero thing that I realized I’ll need to go back to some point earlier on and restart from there, and that’s why I ended up sending in a revision (from way back when) last week. :)

    I also hesitate in general to send revisions to the list… pieces of writing can be workshopped to their essential death and I think often more than once through the same group is a good way to kill a piece, even if it’s a good group like ours.

    • At the moment, I’m fortunate enough to have a few different groups of people to run things through so I don’t have to get repeat opinions unless I want to. I think some people do better than others with multiple rounds of critique (and I’m still trying to figure out which camp I fall into), but since I’m still learning about how to revise I think a round of feedback from a fresh set of readers will be helpful.

      I wonder if the problem with over-workshopping a piece is the workshopping itself or just the extra ammount of revision. I feel like I can revise a piece to its essential death without any outside help whatsoever.

      • I kinda envy you having multiple groups to run things by, as I think one of the problems with workshopping-to-death is that one can end up trying to “please” too a single audience too much. I actually was thinking about trying to find out if there are other SF-writers in Korea (working in the English language, that is) and maybe organizing a meeting, for sharing and critiquing work.

        But on the other hand, I think sometimes stories workshopped by multiple groups can be killed too.

        I suspect the reason overworkshopping is dangerous to the lifeblood of stories varies from case to case: sometimes, it’s an author trying to please too many audiences at once, and something of the essential vision of the author gets lost. Sometimes it’s because it invites over-revision, and over-revision can certainly drain a story bloodless. And sometimes it’s because showing stories to too-critical readers sometimes can mess up an author’s sense of how writing ought to happen.

        But some people also do well with multiple revisions, as you say. It’s good that you’re exploring that and seeing where you find your balance. Me, I’m also learning to do revisions, but I’m a little worried about, I don’t know, losing something essentially *mine* if I workshop a story too much, so I think once in our group, and *maybe* once with trusted friends outside the group if I’m still unsure, is gonna be about it.

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