Tag Archives: Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman with Michael Chabon speaking about Terry Prachett.

I watched this in the early hours of this morning as I have difficulty sleeping and the beginning has Neil Gaiman speaking about his friendship with Terry Prachett and there really is no other person you would want to speak about you. This was the day of or the day after Terry Pratchett’s passing. The interview and speaking engagement had been scheduled and Neil went through with it. He is interviewed by his friend Michael Chabon, whose home he was married in.

Enjoy.

 

How I learned to Kill My Darlings.

You’ve heard the expression in writing that you may come to a point where you must “kill your darlings.” Some will even say kill every last one of the son of a—oops. I was channeling someone else for a moment. Some darlings are okay to keep, but some should be killed. But how to know which and who came up with the idea of the da—yeah, channeling again.

There once was a man named Q, who didn’t know what to do, then one day, decided to say, all your darlings do slay.

In 1912 Arthur Quiller-Couch became a professor at Cambridge. In his first series of lectures he coined a phrase, or at least it is our earliest noted use of said phrase and in the portion of that lecture it went like this:

Arthur Quiller-Couch“[If] you here require a practical rule of me, I will present you with this: ‘Whenever you feel an impulse to perpetrate a piece of exceptionally fine writing, obey it—whole-heartedly—and delete it before sending your manuscript to press. Murder your darlings.”~Arthur Quiller-Couch from On the Art of Writing Lectures delivered in the University of Cambridge 1913-1914.-Page 146

 

If this be much too much for some to grasp and too ancient I shall refer you to a more god like being in the eyes of us mere mortallaic scribes.Stephen King

“Kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.” ~Stephen King from his On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft.

Perhaps even that is a little too old school for some. How about this?

Neil Gaiman“I absolutely believe in taking out things that make the story better if they aren’t there. Just as I believe in writing scenes you didn’t want to write, when you’re doing the second draft, because it makes the story work better if they are there.

Other than that, I think you’re God when you write, and you get to make the universe the way you want it. If you’ve written something really good, why would you get rid of it? Normally the bits that I really like are the bits that my readers really like too.”~Neil Gaiman , his Tumblr,com page March 18, 2012 (This link will open in this page.)

kill the darlingsIf you are still with me then you are wondering what my advice is on how to kill your darlings. What one piece of advice can I give that you may not have heard before?

Write and draft and draft until you loath, you despise, you literally wish to KILL your novel. The darlings will then leap from the page and sacrifice themselves. Until this point your darlings are in disguise.

I speak from experience. Recently I’ve been working on draft after draft of a book I began back in 2012 or earlier. 300 pages of words, non-stop for days on end have been my life. I know all of you reading can feel me on this one. I am now in stage 25 of writer draft coma and am hooked up to an IV of coffee—I only started drinking coffee a few weeks ago. I think there may be a correlation, and yes that’s how bad it’s been. No, not the story, but how dedicated I am to getting this one exactly how I want it.

In stage 25 it happened. I. Killed. A. Darling. Then. Another. I began to read and see the saccharine everywhere. Those cheesy bits of one-liners in the interior monologue of the narrator that is supposed to be cool because he represents ME! I had reached hatred level. The more I read, the more it became obvious that I, the narrator would NOT say these things. No one in their right mind would read these words and say, “Oh yes, I’ve thought those very same things myself.”

Some of you are saying at this time, “I will never loath my novel.” By loathing your novel I am in effect stating you are loathing the process of continuously laboring over the need to draft and draft. Your mind will eventually have mercy on you.

But how can you do this? I realized somethings.

One is as I said before there are things people just don’t say. They draw attention to the writing. They pull me out of the story, even my own story.

Then I determined things I had in the story were things people skipped. You know those passages in a book you will likely skip as you go along. You get to certain parts and you want to know this, not that. “That” is a darling. “This” is what you need. I found a way to get out of the way of the story. I want my stories read. Is my story the same story without “That”? If the answer is yes, then son long to “That”. Yes, I know I am using quotation marks too often but I am doing it for emphasis.

Going through my novel again I have made great cuts and slashes. Phrasing is improving left and right, pace has improved, the voices of the characters are becoming more distinct. It has taken a long time to get to this point and a lot of pain, in the literal sense. I would not change a moment of it. What I discovered is something that will help me for the remainder of my writing career.

Will this be the piece of advice that helps you get to that goal you have? I don’t know, but every tip is worth at least reading about. I’ve found I gain something each time, or I lose brain cells from the sheer duh duh duh of the person who thought they should be giving advice. Yes, go ahead and say it as you finish reading this about me. All together now. DUH DUH DUH.

But one last bit of advice. Make certain to save that previous draft. When it comes time for your Beta-Readers to read, you may find you need to Frankenstein some Darlings.

@RonovanWrites

 

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

© Copyright-All rights reserved by litworldinterviews.wordpress.com 2015

Author Presence: Create a Blog and your Twitter Bio

Author Presence: Create a Blog and your Twitter Bio

During the previous article we talked about Your Brand Name. If you missed it, you really need to check it out as it will come in handy understanding the importance of what I mean by this and how important it is to you.

 

What are we talking about today?

We’ll discuss two things today.

  • Creating a blog with WordPress.com
  • Twitter Bio

So why are we doing two things today?

For one thing these will be relatively short and another thing, I want each day to be useful for everyone joining in. So for those with blogs, you might get something out of the Twitter Bio.

Blog Talk Time

Creating a Blog with WordPress.com

When you go to the site you will see where you type in a name and then click create blog. Once you have done this the fun begins. Don’t worry about today being intense, it won’t be. And you know what? If you change your mind about the blog name afterwards, you can create another blog with this same account. That’s right, you can create several blogs with different blog names/addresses within the same account. I have RonovanWrites.WordPress.com AND LitWorldInterviews.WordPress.com under the same account. Sure I might could have done it separately but I wanted to be able to keep up with the activity on both at the same time.

For this I am creating a new blog called Ronovan Author so as we walk through I will fill in things appropriately

There are four fields to fill out on the

Get started with WordPress.com screen

E-MAIL ADDRESS–ronovanwrties@gmail.com

USERNAME–ronovanauthor

PASSWORD

BLOG ADDRESS–ronovanauthor  ( the wordpress.com part is already there for you)

Once you have filled in these you scroll down and click Create Blog under the FREE column. I mean you can do the premium ones if you like as they do have things like more space, but often times you probably want to at least try out blogging first. You can always upgrade at any time.

  • You will get two emails; one to confirm your email address and the other one saying you have your blog.
  • After you clicked Create Blog under FREE you will be taken to another page.

Step 1

Set up your blog

Blog Title–Ronovan (I could keep it as RonovanAuthor but not right now, although it might work. I can always change it at any time.)

Tagline (Optional)–Author of Imaginations and Realities

Language–English (Yes you can set it to different languages)

Click Next Step

Step 2

Choose a theme

It looks like at the moment the default Theme is one called Reddle. It’s fine to go ahead and just click on Next Step here as you will be able to change your Theme later. Your main goal today is to get your blog name and get to the point where you can start customizing, not that we will be doing that today. So don’t worry.

Step 3

Customize your blog (Reddle)

It tells you about the Theme but don’t worry about it right now. And when you see words like ‘custom colors’ and things like that, often times you have to upgrade to premium to get those.

Click Next Step

Step 4

Share your blog posts with family, friends, or followers

Basically it is wanting you to connect your blog to facebook or Twitter. We will be doing this later, but if you want to you can now. I will still be going through connecting these two at a later date.

Click Next Step

Now it will want you to create your first blog post. You don’t have to.  At the top of the screen you will see; Reader, My Sites, and Stats. You can click on any of these if you like and just look around.

Today I want to show you the ‘Dashboard’. The Dashboard is where you will spend a lot of time. You will create your blog post/articles here. You will select your Themes, create pages on your blog, and pretty much everything.

Click on My Sites at the top.

Now you will see all of your blog sites. By the blog you just created you will see a gear in the top right corner of the picture. Click the gear and then click Go to admin dashboard.

One thing you will see is a Welcome to WordPress.com Video. I want to say I watched it and it is rather useful so go ahead and watch it.

And that ends your Blog Talk for the day. You have created a Blog, an Author Blog. Next time we speak about Blogs I will want to give you some Theme ideas to use. The reason I want to discuss Themes before we get into the details of the Dashboard is because not all Themes have the same Dashboard options. But they all work basically the same way with just a few  Appearance differences.

 

Twitter Talk Time

The Twitter Bio

You might be wondering “I’m an author of YA SciFi/Fantasy/Dystopia.”

Nice. Yawn. Sorry, did you say something?

Yeah, that was a bit mean of me but I’m here for Straight Talk. In fact at times I do articles with the titles in them called Straight Talk with Ronovan. So let’s get to it. Your Bio needs to say who and what you are.

Here is my Twitter Bio:

Author. Promoter of Authors. Interviewer. Lover of History. Tacos are a food group.

Yeah, it’s not the best in the world. But it tells you what I am and do. It gives you a couple of insights into me. I love history, I obviously am a huge fan of tacos (humor there) (not really) and I have Fibromyalgia. I also have both of my main blog sites included.

I have had people follow me because of the Fibromyalgia. I have people comment on their agreement about Tacos being a food group. And I have had people say they Love History too. I apparently have some sense of humor by including the taco comment.

Be as creative as you like. Remember, be professional.

Neil Gaiman is famous. Being famous makes it a bit easier with the Bio but he still has to be somewhat creative.

“will eventually grow up and get a real job. Until then, will keep making things up and writing them down.”

Perfectly done. His sense of humor is there and he actually tells what he does in a creative way. In fact I need to rethink mine. Look around at your favorite authors and DON’T copy them but see how creative they are.

Jim Butcher is another popular author these days. Yeah, I met him and talked with him for a while during the first round of Dresden Files books. Was a really nice guy and humble.

“–Storyteller. Let’s not complicate things.”

Honestly, I can hear his Harry Dresden character saying this. Well not the storyteller part, but it is definitely Butcher’s writing style coming through in so few words.

 

Until Next Time

Much Respect

Ronovan

Ron_LWI

 

 

 

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

© Copyright-All rights reserved by litworldinterviews.wordpress.com 2014