Thursday, February 03, 2005

The Life of a Writer

This post duplicates one at the Asimov's board I thought was worth saving - part of a discussion of the novel versus the shiort story, and full-time versus part-time writing:

I don't know - I always admired O. Henry, and my hero in the television world was Rod Serling. And I went into journalism - so I seem to be drawn to the short form.
Ardath Mayhar, a veteran writer who also lives in East Texas (Joe Lansdale is her unofficial grandson) said to me once she thinks it's always smart to have an "eating job".
I really don't have much of a choice, being married. I could live off free lance income, but my wife (and probably my dog) would starve.
(My wife is currently a full-time student, so she doesn't have an income.)
Besides, when inspiration strikes - and I tend to write better when the muse whaps me upside the head - I'll crank out the copy at 1,000 words an hour.
I actually sometimes seek distractions because I feel I'm writing too fast, and I need to slow down and think out plot and characterization more.
I guess that's an unfortunate side effect of being a journalist all these years - cranking out the copy like a pulp writer.
I seem to be naturally following Heinlein's system of linking short stories together.
The first story I ever had published was called "Silvern". It was published at RevolutionSF in June 2003.
RevSF recently accepted another story, "Dialogue", which is a prequel to "Silvern". It tells the tale of first contact.
I have a story that's passed the 1st reading at ASIM that's a sequel to "Silvern". It takes the protagonist to his next posting.
Also, I had a story at "Bewildering" in May called "I Got You". The story I had published in ContinuumSF's fall edition, "Double Crossing the Styx", was a prequel to that, with the same protagonist.
I mean, why keep reinventing characters when you already have some perfectly good ones fleshed out?
Charlie Stross' "Accelerando" stories all fit together and will be coming out soon.
If it's worked for everyone from Heinlein to Stross, who am I to kick?

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