Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Branching Out (and some thoughts about writing for good measure)

So lately, I've been working on a novel outline.

It's been something really satisfying, a real spark to the creativity.

Along the way, I'm doing something I haven't had the chance to do writing games for a long time: learning something new.

Of course, that's not entirely true.

In the process of writing every book I wind up learning something, whether it's about Kabuki theater or WWII.

But when I say "learning something" what I actually mean here is learning about writing.

I'm fond of saying writing is craft not art and I truly believe that.

90% of every written work succeeds or fails on its technical merit.

Just like you wouldn't want to buy a chair with one leg, no matter how beautifully designed, if a work is poorly constructed, if it's loaded with technical problems, grammar issues, bad spelling, you're not going to read it.

Of course, a work can have all 90% of the craft covered and still be shit. It needs that 10% art, but the art is the electroplated gold on the solid, sturdy foundation of the craft, the technical writing.

So learning about how to construct a story, thinking about character arcs, about exploring this new frontier has been exciting.

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