||[Sep. 8th, 2006|01:17 am]
Today ended a bit differently. The day started out on the job hunt front. I then paid for some poker lessons (as the euphuism for losing goes). Although, it *did* feel like lessons. I was taking mental notes and it felt like I was learning how to deal with a weak area in my poker game -- only time will tell. Tonight, I played in my puzzle pirate game. After our pillage went bust without finding a single battle, one of the people in my flag approached me wanting to ask something in private.|
I was a bit puzzled (pun not intended) as to what the person wanted since game wise the person was at least as experanced as I am and would have no reason to ask me anything game related that needed to be done privately.
It turned out that this person knows I've done some writing in my past and to my surprise he wanted advice on writing a story that he's got bubbling in his head.
At first I was worried that he was going to do the thing writers hate the most -- "I have a great idea, I'll tell you all about it. Then you can write it and we can split the profits."
Well, he was a bit more realistic than that and other than saying he had no writing skill (which I told him could be learned), seemed willing to write the story himself (or maybe I just wasn't rising to take the bait of offering to write it for him).
He accepted the cold dose of reality that there's no money in writing unless your name is JK Rowlings or something. I also mentioned how you will fall in love with your writing only to have an editor rip what you think is your best writing yet into shreds -- it is surprising how much that can hurt.
Anyway, he seemed to take that reality check ok. So I gave him some basic advice on writing and characterization -- show the readers what's happening rather than telling them (the example I used was having someone smelling smoke if something catches on fire rather than coming out and saying there's a fire) -- and make the characters alive to you; give them quirks and hobbies, try to think of what the characters would like and dislike and how they'd act/react when put into a bunch of different situations.
He mentioned taking a creative writing course. I suggested he try to read something the teacher's written first and to only take the course if he likes that person's writing style. Taking a writing course by someone whose writing skills you don't like would seem a waste of time to me. He thought that was a good idea.
(ps-even before he approached me, I've been thinking of starting writing again myself and have been fleshing out something sorta kinda vampire like -- except not vampires exactly).