Tag Archives: Writing

Newsletter #79

NEWSLETTER 79: March 4, 2014 Dear People, I’m beavering away at Air and Darkness, the final Book of the Elements for Tor. I’m in the middle of chapter four. Things are falling into place bit by bit, as they do. … Continue reading

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Writing Advice

Josh Sowin gathered writing advice from 14 writers on his blog. This is Dave’s advice. See http://betweenletters.quora.com/14-Writers-Handwrite-Their-Writing-Advice-on-Their-Hands

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A Hard Look Back

Written for Bull Spec: a magazine of speculative fiction, September 2012 ON A PANEL AT The Escapist Expo in September [2012], my friend Mark asked for a show of hands from people who hadn’t been born in 1966 when I … Continue reading

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Newsletter #62

Dear People, I am in the stage now in which the current book (this time it’s The Road of Danger, the next Leary/Mundy space opera) moves forward about as steadily as Juggernaut’s Carriage. The process is about that graceful also, … Continue reading

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Do you use a computer for your work?

I’ve been composing on a computer since 1986, when IBM came out with its first laptop. From 1981 I was using a dedicated word-processor for second and third drafts, but I was composing with a pencil on legal pad. (Many … Continue reading

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What advice do you have for a beginning writer?

I sold my first story when I was an undergraduate. I’d always liked to tell stories; in high school I started writing them down, and at age 19 I started submitting them. I think it’s necessary for a successful writer … Continue reading

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The Motorcycle Way to Complex Plotting

  Written for the Tor/Forge May 2010 Newsletter THE MOTORCYCLE WAY TO COMPLEX PLOTTING Writers use various tools in their work. One of my tools is my motorcycle. Well, plural: my motorcycles. Bikers learn quickly that if they expect to … Continue reading

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A Belated Thank-You

Dave’s Introduction to a volume of August Derleth short stories titled That is Not Dead: Black Magic and Occult Stories, volume 3 of 4 being produced by The August Derleth Society in conjunction with Arkham House Publishers, February 2009. A … Continue reading

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The Fortress of Glass

My friend Mark Van Name is, among other things, a business consultant. After I sold the final trilogy in the Isles Series to Tor but before I started work on the three books, he asked me if I would like … Continue reading

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Cross the Stars

AFTERWORD: WHERE I GET MY IDEAS If you decide to write about far-famed Achilles, make him active, hot-tempered, inexorable, and fierce; let him deny that laws were made for him, let him think his sword rules all. –Horace, The Art … Continue reading

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Do you plot sequentially?

Do you write sequentially, from beginning of the plot to the end? I do plots beginning to end, and I do very long plots, but there’s not a right way.

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How do you write your drafts?

How do you go about writing your drafts? I work on a notebook computer outside, then edit the hardcopy and go through at least three drafts.

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How many stories are you working on at any one time?

At any one time, how many stories are you working on? I work on one thing at a time. Other people like multiple jobs, but for me I concentrate very heavily and I get crazy when I’m taken off it.

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What novel have you enjoyed writing the most?

What novel have you personally enjoyed the most writing? Once I apparently answered this question, ‘Northworld.’ I can’t imagine why I did that, because I was so stressed while writing Northworld that I was having back spasms that made it … Continue reading

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Newsletter #53

Dear People, WHAT DISTANT DEEPS, the next RCN (Leary/Mundy) space opera, isn’t quite finished. It’s coming along fine and I’ve got well over 100K words in draft–but it just flat isn’t done. I’ll be a lot happier when it’s finished. … Continue reading

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Newsletter #52

Dear People, In the most recent newsletter I said that I’d just started the rough draft of the next RCN space opera, WHAT DISTANT DEEPS. I now have a hair under 60K in draft. As usual, I’m very depressed about … Continue reading

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Newsletter #48

Dear People, I’m well into (about 60K) the rough draft of THE LEGIONS OF FIRE. This is the first book of the new fantasy series for Tor. When asked, I picked The Books of the Elements as the series title … Continue reading

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Video Interviews

Video Interviews: Moses Siregar III posted a YouTube video in four chunks of the panel “The Continued Viability of Epic Fantasy” recorded at the World Fantasy Convention in Columbus OH October 30, 2010. Dave is on the panel with John … Continue reading

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Newsletter #47

Dear People, Folks frequently ask me how long it takes to write a novel. (People ask me a lot of questions that presumably seem simpler from the outside than they do to me.) The answer depends on a lot of … Continue reading

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The Gods Return

The religion of the Isles is based on the Sumerian triad of Inanna, Dumuzi, and Ereshkigal.  The fact is of more significance here than it has been in the previous books of the series. The magic (which in the Isles … Continue reading

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Newsletter #43

Dear People, For a moment I thought was going to start somewhere else, but no: the big news this time is still that I’ve finished the plot for the next RCN (Leary/Mundy) space opera and expect to begin writing very … Continue reading

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Newsletter #41

Dear People, First, a note on the format. Thirteen of the thousand-plus subscribers couldn’t read #40. They tended to be computer professionals who had, I suspect, very advanced electronic security. (Nothing had changed at our end.) People who have similar … Continue reading

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About Me

I was born on September 24, 1945, in Dubuque, Iowa. In 1967 I graduated from the University of Iowa with a BA in History (with honors) and Latin; married my wife Jo (one son, Jonathan, born 1973); and entered Duke … Continue reading

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The Mirror of Worlds

I’ve based the religion of the Isles generally on that of Sumer: the sacred triad of Inanna, Dumuzi, and Ereshkigal. The words of power, however, are the voces mysticae of the documentary magic common in the Mediterranean Basin during classical … Continue reading

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The Reaches: Igniting the Reaches, Through the Breach & Fireships

INTRODUCTION: THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY I’m a very organized writer–insanely organized, one might say, and we’ll get back to that in a moment. I take extensive notes before I start plotting, and I do very detailed plots (usually in … Continue reading

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Birds of Prey

BIRDS OF PREY was the first novel I tried to write. It was a very long time before I succeeded, but I think in this case the wait was worth it. While I was still in law school I got … Continue reading

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