Writing Habits

As any author knows, there is no guaranteed formula for writing. Some writers like George RR Martin takes forever because of tremendous attention to detail. Some writers take far less time for any number of reasons. For me, there’s a lot of downtime. I write when the feeling strikes. However, there are a few rituals I like to go through.

First chance I get is going through the websites I’ve bookmarked. These include science/scifi sites such as blastr.com, and many webcomics like Something Positive (somethingpositive.net) and Captain SNES (captainsnes.com). They make me laugh, and sometimes all you need to get started is a good laugh.

Then there’s IGN.com, a vast database containing up to the minute news on various video game platforms and television reviews. That, along with RPGFan.com, gives me quite an extensive look in the current video game community. The first movie reviews I get are usually on IGN, so it plays an important role (not entirely) in shaping my opinion of aforementioned movies.

It should be known that the first movie reviews I get are usually on IGN, so it plays an important role (not entirely) in shaping my opinion of aforementioned movies.The comic books section is vast and detailed, but I’m a graphic novel kind of guy, so I don’t scan the column unless something really cool happens (like Batman fighting with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles). Yes, it’s happened.

Then I usually play video games; specifically Role Playing Games. You take control of a character whose abilities in combat are governed by a certain set of stats (Strength, Speed, and so on). You have the opportunity to increase those stats by gaining a certain number of Experience Points (something you gain by defeating monsters in combat). Once the appropriate number of Experience Points are collected, you gain a “level,” in which stats are increased. Monsters grow stronger as you get further in the game, so your characters must gain levels if they want to compete on even footing. There’s a lot more to RPGs, but those are more or less the universal building blocks for the genre.

I like the stories of RPGs. It starts off in small-time (FF7’s protagonist Cloud Strife is a mercenary paid for a simple sabotage mission) but soon the game expands into a global chase after Sephiroth, an ultra-powerful creature who seeks no less than the destruction of the entire planet for his own gain. Furthermore, the characters’ backgrounds are revealed (usually via some strange plot twists) and the companionship of a team slowly becomes a family. My favorites are the Final Fantasy series and the Suikoden series because they have top-notch characters and stories, and you should definitely check them out. Somewhere in all that time I

Somewhere in all that time I try to read. Writing is all about practice and thought and mind-set. Without reading books to keep me in the right flow of dialogue and rhythm keeping me focused, I tend to slide in terms of writing. It’s good; it’s just not as good as I know I can be. I have several novels by Robert Jordan handy, but I’m also partial to Michael Connelly and Terry Brooks’ Shannara series.

Then I try to write. I have the purpose of the chapter in my head, and I try to inscribe that onto the page. Sometimes it comes easily, sometimes I get stuck on the first word. My free-writing takes me to strange places sometimes (like going to a lulu restaurant in the 1940s), but the most dangerous setback is the realization that the grand idea I had for the day’s writing is a re-hash of something I wrote fifty pages ago. That’s why authors need to have meticulous details of chronology — to keep you centered. That’s my first lesson to beginning writers: keep a record.

Well, that’s usually how my day works. Sometimes I’ll do less of one thing and more of another, but by and large you have the blueprint of how my day plays out. Hope this was as entertaining to you as it’s usually for me. Thanks for reading.

Oh and by the way, go look up my first novel Sefiros Eishi: Chased By Flame on Amazon.com (please leave a review; thanks).

 

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