I am a fan of the TV show Castle. I can spoil almost every episode for you right now.
I’m not going to, because I’m a nice person, but I thought I’d put that out there. I can also spoil Elementary, Fringe, the three NCIS generations, JAG (although I’ve only watched a couple episodes), and all six of the Star Wars movies.
To be fair, though, I know Star Wars backwards and forwards, and the spoilers are already plastered over everyone’s eyeballs, so there’s not much surprising there. The point remains that I can spoil a crime show, almost any crime show, almost any episode, with a little thought and the first eight minutes of the episode.
I’m not going to tell you how— this knowledge cost me enjoyment of all recent Sherlock Holmes adaptations— but I can tell you why. Why can a mild-mannered student of writing quickly tell the who did it of any whodunit?
Because most fiction, especially serialized on-a-deadline fiction like a TV show, has rules. Read the full post »
Posted by Liam Wood on June 25, 2015
I told you it wasn’t my last post.
That last post still applies. Everything in it is true except the part where I say farewell. I learned how much I missed the blog about 24 hours after posting that. 24 hours after that, I realized how much time exists in a month and how much fun we can have together. And here I am, writing another blog post because honestly, if I really wanted to, I could write my 700th post before I leave. (This is #669, so I’m not sure I really want to, but it would be amusing.)
In trying to be dramatic and serious and stoic, I accidentally gave myself a five-month absence instead of just four months. Now I’m taking this month back. (To be clear: July, August, September, October, I’m still gone. June? Nope.)
Let me tell you about a project I started a couple months ago, and truly got working yesterday. I’ve been a pianist for a long time— it was my first musical instrument, at age 4, and I took lessons for a good ten years. Since I stopped, however, I’ve kept noodling. I’m particularly good at playing by ear, but I also enjoy improvising. In fact, if I have sheet music for a song, I will still improvise, by ear, that song. At this point I’d rather make my own version than be restricted.
If you think about it, that sums up my writing process too, at this point. I make a story up as I go along, to fit imperfectly the image I have in my head, rather than follow a set outline, even if I wrote it myself. I’d rather improvise an imperfect, but fair, solution than hammer down and get a perfect one that doesn’t allow for mistakes. At least, that’s how I feel about it. Read the full post »
Posted by Liam Wood on June 3, 2015
One of my favorite character stereotypes is the confident character. Richard Campbell Gansey III, Dorian Havilliard, even Valerie Solomon from Tessa Gratton’s story on Merry Sisters of Fate. There’s something about the character who has it all, who has an all-purpose mask they crafted for themselves over the years. Of course, since we write crafted fiction, this mask never stays on. Something will happen to tear it off, and there— that’s when you really enjoy the character.
Half of me wants to be such a character with such a mask. Half of me just wants to write millions of those characters. For the convenience of everyone, and especially me, here’s a step-by-step how-to on creating the confident character. Read the full post »
Posted by Liam Wood on May 20, 2015