Viewing posts tagged on writing

On Writing and Shape

I was trying to think through an aspect of writing that is generally instinctive to me, to try to figure out what, if anything about it could be taught. This resulted.

A given piece of writing has what I can only describe as a shape. It’s what we usually call style, but we ascribe that more to writers, and this is really on a piece-by-piece basis. Calling it structure almost works, but feels too detached and under the surface, whereas shape is tangible and visible to the reader. It’s ironically difficult to describe, because it is, ironically, a thing I experience in an almost synesthetic way. It’s the aspect of reading and writing that doesn’t feel like words, but instead sensual and physical. This is a difficult thing to describe.

Instead of describing, then, let’s ask how we choose the shape for a piece of writing. The step after having the idea, in other words, ideas being basically trivial things that one generally has too many of, not too few. You don’t actually mean “where do you get your ideas from," you mean “how did you get that idea to become a piece of ...

A Few Random Notes on Self-Publishing

I just spent most of today fighting with book formatting for a thing I'll talk about in good time, which led me to dust this set of notes I drew up off for your reading pleasure. Because occasionally people have asked me for advice about self-publishing. Which is funny, because it assumes I know what I'm doing, which I don't, but here, at least, are some things I used to not know that I have since learned.

1) Recognize that everyone will assume you are an unprofessional git. This is potentially true, but equally, may well not be. It doesn’t matter. You’re self-publishing, which means you couldn’t get a real publisher, which means you must suck. Never mind the myriad of sane reasons to self-publish and the fact that you might just be working in a niche market where the overhead of professional publishing renders your book financially unsound. You’re a hack because you’re self-publishing. Therefore almost everything you do has to be done with the knowledge that this is how people see you.

2) There is shit you have to pay for. You cannot edit your own book. You just can ...

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