Drop by and give me a holler in the comments.
Fair warning: if you are committed to the spontaneous pantsing version of writing, please don’t read this. You won’t benefit, I won’t benefit. If you’re open to having assumptions challenged, read on. To the end. Don’t read the first 80% and quit or you won’t get the point.
What is a House?
Though wildly different around the world, all houses share certain characteristics. Let’s explore the ins and outs.
- Roof — Without a covering, it’s a yard, not a house.
- Floor — It may be dirt, but it’s not water or air. If your residents are standing in a pool up to their waist, or swinging in hammocks 30′ aboveground, you’ve built something other than a house.
- Privacy — Roof but no walls = carport or equivalent.
- Toilet — Yes, in some parts of the world this is not inside the house. If you live in one of those places, you may dispute this requirement.
- Services — Electricity. Running water. Drains. See above note for quibbles.
- Egress — Without a door suitable for us humans to enter through, it’s not a house, it’s something else.
- Lighting — Even if it’s windows and skylights, there’s a way for light to come in.
You may dispute any of these if you choose to live in the house yourself.
If you plan to sell the house, or even sell time using the house (called “renting”) I defy you to leave any of these out and still succeed.
Or, more accurately, how I begin the process of moving toward my books.
Planning is a left-brain process. Creativity has to have a healthy dose of right brain. You need both. The apocryphal Hemingwayesque “write drunk, edit sober.”
Here’s a very short version of my story-generating process, which thus far has given me good results blending left and right, analytical and creative: … more … “How I Write”
Elizabeth Spann Craig’s Twitterific writing links a couple weeks back led me to Ryan Lanz writing about stretching your word count.
In a moment of weakness, worried that Anodyne is too short, I followed it.
Expecting smarmy tricks, I found solid advice, which if implemented properly and with good motives is, what’s the phrase I’m looking for . . . oh yes; Good Stuff.
The 5 stretches listed by Lanz:
Below is an enormous excerpt from my cute little book Getting Your Book Out of the Someday Box. While it describes my nonfiction writing process, it’s really an information-gathering-and-sorting process, which, in a way, is what outlining is about.
If this raises more questions than it answers, as I fear it will, ask and ye shall receive.
I’m gathering resources to create some kind of structure checklist for my writing and wanted to share 3 useful lists and concepts I’ve encountered the past week.
Someone described the method of steering a sailboat called “tacking” as first sailing in a direction to the left of where you want to go, and then sailing in a direction to the right of where you want to go. The process of shifting from left to right is called “coming about.”
Get on a sailboat and everyplace you want to go is against the wind. Forces external to the boat, such as wind and currents and other boats, cause you to adjust your heading, even if you haven’t changed your destination. That’s also a possibility: discovering that the beach you’re heading for is crowded, but over that way is an open spot you’d prefer.
Same with any business venture.
Onward with our experimental Goodreads giveaways. Yes, plural.
Here are the questions we raised in the last post:
Science tries to deal with what’s real, to identify and label and if possible rule out the imaginary, illogical, impossible.
Sometimes science bothers people with little facts like gravity being the weakest force in the known universe. The only thing that keeps us from flying off into space as the earth turns (moving 1,000mph at the equator but slower near the poles) is that the earth is so huge that the tiny pull of gravity is amplified enough to keep us pinned.
Earth spinning: at the equator, a spot moves 24,000 miles in 24 hours. Simple math: 1,000mpg.
About 8 feet from the geographic pole, you could draw a circle 24 feet around. Stand (float) in one spot, and make the 24-foot trip in the same 24 hours.
That spot is moving 1 foot per hour. The bit at the equator is going 5,280,000 times as fast (1,000mph = 5,280,000 feet per hour.)