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.
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.
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?