IWSG—2017 plans

InsecureWritersSupportGroup

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group convenes the first Wednesday of the month. Participants share their worries, insecurities, triumphs, hopes, and fears.

This month, the IWSG question is:

What writing rule do you wish you’d never heard?

There are so many so-called rules I wish I’d never heard! A lot of folks without much writing experience seem to latch onto these rules and make everyone else follow them, without understanding when they truly need to be followed vs. when it should be the writer’s call.

I understand, e.g., overusing adverbs and non-standard speaking verbs, but sometimes they’re really necessary to bring a scene to life more vividly, and to conserve wordcount.

The “show, don’t tell” rule also annoys me. While I agree it’s lazy and simplistic to point-blank tell the reader everything, some things need to be established early on in order to fully understand a character or situation. Gradually dropping hints won’t have the necessary effect.

Sometimes it’s also necessary to condense the events of a longer period into a wraparound narrative segment, so as not to bloat the wordcount. Not everything needs described in minute detail, particularly when they’re not the most crucial parts of a storyline.

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In 2017, I plan to continue blogging more about subjects related to my writing and love of history, instead of focused on writing topics. A bunch of really important films turn 90 this year, so I’ll be writing about them. I’m most looking forward to my series on Metropolis (my first-ever silent) and The Jazz Singer.

This October’s vintage horror film series will include Freaks, Häxan, The Unknown, The Lodger, The Cat and the Canary, Nosferatu, The Mummy, and three Georges Méliès films from 1897.

My music-related posts will include the 50th birthday of The Who Sell Out, The Monkees’ Headquarters, and The Hollies’ Butterfly, as well as the 35th birthday of Rio.

I’d like to finish up my “A Primer on XYZ Names” series I’ve been running for the last few years. Planned future installments will include Swahili, Italian, Greek, Armenian, Finnish, Hawaiian, Medieval Slavic, and Tajik. My ultimate goal is to put all these posts together as a book, with expanded commentaries and names lists.

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I’d like to finally have the book formerly known as The Very First ready for release this year, along with revamped covers for Swan and Little Ragdoll. In addition to improved covers, I’ll also be doing some minor tweakings. The Twelfth Time is also long overdue for release.

My primary writing focus will remain on A Dream Deferred and Branches, though I’d also like to get back to my alternative history. If it’s not ready by August, I think a really appropriate (if sad) release date would be 17 July 2018, the Russian Imperial Family’s 100th Jahrzeit (death anniversary).

I also have an idea for another alternative history, focused on my love Dante. I’ve been interested in writing some books set during the High and/or Late Middle Ages for awhile, and making it about Dante would be the icing on the cake.

What are your writing, editing, blogging, and publishing plans for this year? Do you think you’ll get around to all of them, or do you have just one or two major goals you absolutely want to accomplish?

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9 comments on “IWSG—2017 plans

  1. Yeah, rules are to be applied, not slathered across all writing. I think the rules are good, it’s just knowing when and how they apply that newbies struggle with. Honestly, don’t seasoned writers even struggle with the balance?

    Awesome plans for the year! I’ve got some crazy variables up in the air, but once those things are nailed down, I’ll know what to plan for in 2017. Here’s hoping it will only take another week. On to the epicness ahead, eh?

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  2. I’d like to finish my current historical novel, query it, self-publish another short fiction collection, and start a new novel. I’m going to have to spend my time more wisely this year to accomplish these goals.

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  3. Chrys Fey says:

    I show AND tell. Both have their place and are useful. And I for one like adverbs, because I love words. 🙂

    Good luck with all of your goals!

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  4. If you followed every rule, you’d never write a thing.
    I think Metropolis was my second silent film. Nosferatu was definitely first.

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  5. Olga Godim says:

    If you ever publish a book on names, I’ll buy it. I have been following your Primer on Xxxx Names series with great interest.

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  6. NIcki Elson says:

    Good writers know the rules AND when to break them.
    You have so many great ideas. I’m impressed with your ability to prioritize them all. I seem to only ever be able to look one project ahead. After my book is published later this month, I’ll focus on writing a newer idea for a contemporary romance – I look forward to a year of more writing and less publishing.

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  7. jamieayres says:

    I’ve been annoyed by all those rules, too . . . sometimes you just have to go your own way 🙂

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  8. Lidy says:

    Exactly. The show don’t tell rule lures you into overwriting and showing everything. That means it’s okay to show each bite a character takes of their meal. I’m only okay with that if you’re trying to show how the character has OCD. But even then you can condense and drop a clue about by telling.
    Really, it should be knowing when to tell and when to show. And as writers knowing when to do either to do justice to your story.

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  9. Admittedly, show don’t tell can be annoying. Sometimes things need to be laid out. As long as that isn’t the only way someone writes, telling is sometimes necessary.

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