Tag: writing blog



Writing is so much easier than drawing.  There I said it.  Maybe it’s not that way for everyone, I don’t know.  But it’s much harder for me to translate what I see in my mind to the page in a visual rather than a verbal format.  Especially when I’m working with tools I haven’t mastered yet.

In related news, did you know that one can’t teach oneself to digitally paint in a day?  Funny thing.  On deviantart, one is always seeing these vivid and amazing digital paintings with captions like “Did this cus I wuz bored” of “Done in two hours. Dunno.”  These unhelpful captions prove deceptive, I tell you.  These artists, undermining themselves woefully with their words, have some amazing artistic or at the least technical skills that I am without.

And this explains what happened to the illustration that was supposed to appear last week.  I had a good composition, and drew it out in pencils, well and good, before noticing that I’d made Corin and Hellin the same height. D’oh.  Unable to let that go, and with a friend’s reassurance that I could rearrange it in Photoshop and print it on Bristol to paint on top of, I drew the illo up on three separate sheets, scanned and merged them properly and then learned that my printer hates Bristol and suffers from serious heavy paper indigestion.  Fine, I thought.  I shall paint this in Photoshop!

Ha! Ha ha ha HA!



If I throw another 6 hours at it, maybe it will begin to be passable.  Or not.  I could have redrawn and painted it already in this time.

(Flips table.)

A picture may say more than a thousand words, but I can write well over a thousand words in the time it takes to paint a picture.

Frickin pictures.

Thank you, rant over.  Your scheduled chapter half will be on time.  As for an illustration, that remains to be seen.  Its fate now lies between me, my tablet and my God.

On Writing as a Team

On Writing as a Team

I was going to write about SF clichés next, but it occurred to me that since Ruth and I write as a team, and that’s the exception rather than the rule, it might be worth musing a bit on what team writing is like.

When I was little I wanted to be a writer (well, also a ballerina, and a car mechanic, and the President, but that’s a different story) so I got books from the library about how to write.  This was before the existence of advice on the Internet.  Most of the Internet advice for writers that I’ve come across pretty much amounts to the same thing as those books anyway—write, and keep writing, and read stuff by good writers, and revise, revise, revise.  But the one thing that always got me down from those books was the assurance that writing was a lonely craft.  “You must sit at your desk alone, and work.  You must do this every day, alone.  Did we mention ALONE?  No one can help you.”  This advice made me a little sad—because of course I believed it, it was written in a book—but since I was a solitary sort of person anyway and I really wanted to be a writer, I didn’t let it stop me. Continue reading “On Writing as a Team”

In Defense of the Good Characters

In Defense of the Good Characters

Ruth and I are always talking about stories, our own and other people’s–what we like, what bothers us, what could be done better, what we wish we saw more often.  I thought I’d transform some of these conversations into blog posts, to get them clear in my own mind and to share them too.  The first thing I’ve chosen to do is be a bit of an apologist for the good characters in stories.

I’m not thinking good as in the silly Dungeons and Dragons alignment system, which I’ve never liked.  Even though I’ve run a bunch of games in that system, it still gets on my nerves.  I mean, the concept that worshipping something blatantly labeled as EVIL would ever be a valid religious choice in a functioning society . . .

But that’s a topic for another day.  I’m not even really talking about good characters versus evil characters here, because rarely does a truly evil-intentioned character end up as the main focus of a story, and if he does, it’s liable to be a wild, brief, tragic ride.  Not that it can’t be fun to watch a villainous protagonist go—Light from Death Note comes to mind.  But you just can’t get attached to them.

I’m thinking more of the contrast between the shady anti-hero with a checkered past and the virtuous hero who has always tried to do the right thing.  Anti-heros are fun.  I’ve been known to write one, from time to time.  But they tend to get all the praise and the limelight.  Girls like the bad boy.  And where does this leave our poor hero?  How can he compete with his darker-toned rival?  A strong moral compass, a selfless streak, and a sometimes plodding determination just aren’t as badass as casually shooting the hostage, joining the bad guys only to betray them later, and walking away from explosions without ever looking back. Continue reading “In Defense of the Good Characters”