A Pair of New Year’s (Writing) Resolutions

I have so far made three attempts to compose a work of fiction. Four, if you count that one I worked on for a couple of weeks in 2013 and then quickly abandoned. All of them were set either on another planet or in some kind of alternate reality, and I didn’t finish any of them. This particular genre is evidently a lot more difficult to write in than most people realize. It helps to adhere to a few guidelines of some type or another.

In addition to Kurt Vonnegut’s ever-useful eight rules of short story writing which I elaborated on earlier, I’d like to add two other rules of my own that I’m presently applying to my fourth (fifth?) literary attempt. The more practical writing experience I get, the more I realize how important these guidelines are. Especially in the speculative fiction genres, where the temptation is always there to go nuts with the worldbuilding.

  1. Do not edit as you write.
  2. Do not exceed 100,000 words on the first draft.
A scene like this, for instance, should not be vividly described in loving detail in prose fiction, unless it’s somehow relevant to the overall plot.


A Wee Piece of the Olde Skull

I was going to write something grandiose and thought-provoking this week, but my dentist told me I had to refrain from smoking for a couple of days after he pulled my wisdom tooth. Which actually didn’t bugger up my weekend as much as my body’s initial reactions to having a small part of it removed. But now that I’m feeling much better and am relatively confident that I can go a whole hour without fainting, I give you a visual extravaganza of the small part in question. This guy was lodged in an almost horizontal position within my gum tissue, but that wasn’t the only reason why it had to be removed…

This is its good side.
That’s some right filthy-looking wisdom. I guess that could be its eyepatch.