Well, now that November is almost over, it’s time for another challenge.
December is officially going to be KriBloWriMo. Yes, Kristin’s Blog Writing Month. (You know, I may need to rethink that name. Blo as in “blog” sounds fine, but blo as in blow sounds less than good. Hmm. Maybe “Decemblog.”) Once post a day, all month. Granted, at least one of those posts may only say “Happy Holidays!” but the idea is to boost the blog and my own social networking skills.
I’m a notoriously bad correspondent and social media user. I take days to respond to emails, I’m perplexed by Twitter’s popularity, and I read blogs every time they update without ever commenting. I do keep a pretty active Facebook presence, but that’s mostly because I can talk to all my friends and lots of my family in one place.
So, in December, I’ll be making a concerted effort to update here every day. For material, I shall do as Picasso said and prove that I’m a great artist by stealing ruthlessly. Emmie Mears did a series of blog posts about the Writer’s Digest article 25 Ways to Improve Your Writing that were both interesting and informative. I’m going to steal Emmie’s style and engage with Jim Butcher’s LiveJournal entries about his writing process.
Why Jim Butcher? I like the Dresden Files, sort of, but I like other urban fantasy series, like Kim Harrison’s The Hollows or Ilona Andrews’s Kate Daniels books more. But Jim Butcher is a super-successful guy, and his Dresden books sell like hotcakes. (Do hotcakes sell actually sell well? Or is it supposed to be hot cakes? ‘Cause I could go for a hot cake right about now.)
I’m writing an urban fantasy that I would like to sell someday, and Jim Butcher’s story is one that gives me hope.
He likes to tell the anecdote (I hope that’s the right interview) about how he dismissed his teacher’s techniques for writing a good story and continued to write bad stories. Then he followed her formula (which I believe was her teacher’s formula), and he wrote Storm Front, the first book in the Dresden Files.
So despite our inner artistes saying that formula-writing leads to crap, generic stories, apparently they have some merit and in fact can lead to entertaining, suspenseful, best-selling stories!
I’ve been using Butcher’s method to write Shaken, in combination with some tips from Plot and Structure. I’ll talk about what works, what didn’t, and my experiences rebelling against it from time to time.
So, readers, now you have your homework: Go read Jim Butcher’s LiveJournal entries, starting from the bottom, and I’ll be back in two days to start talking about them!