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Dan Goodman's prediction and politics journal.

Friday, September 19, 2003

Thursday September 18, 2003. -"Is this a good way to begin drafting a story?"- someone asked on rec.arts.sf.composition. Start out with the theme, then choose characters, setting, etc. to fit the theme.

Pat Wrede explained the various ways she and other writers do their planning, what happens to the plans, and why logic and reason didn't have much to do with writing. She then told him to try it that way, and see if it worked. [Someday, the regulars on the newsgroup will
conspire to chain Pat Wrede in front of a computer till she writes a book about writing spec-fic.]

She wasn't the only one to respond, of course -- just the best.

What I said, roughly: How you write best may not have anything to do with what seems logical or reasonable; or with how anyone else works or any method you've ever heard of. And it may not be the way you like best.

This is true about many things other than writing. Including a whole lot about which people are certain there's only One True Method.


Ran into M__ on the bus to downtown. We'd been the hard core of the Clutterers Anonymous meetings in south Minneapolis and St. Louis Park, till those had gone under. We agreed to meet informally in downtown Minneapolis in a few days. [Downtown: In Minneapolis, Downtown and Uptown are places -- never directions.]

I got schedules for bus lines I use which had change. MCTO changes schedules once each quarter; and this time, funding cuts had caused more change than usual. I also got the schedule for the bus to Stillwater.

***
Tangent Online (http://www.tangentonline.com) has the best short spec-fic reviews I've seen lately. Unfortunately, they may not be around next year. On September 10th, owner Dave Truesdale posted an editorial titled "Idiocy from the SFnal Left." The flak he got from that moved him to announce that he's probably closing down around December 31st.

The editorial was in response to Candas Jane Dorsey's "Farewell to the Literature of Ideas" in the New York Review of Science Fiction, August 2003. http://www.write-hemisphere.com

SFWA's board of directors voted to raise the minimum pay rate for qualifying fiction from 3 cents a word to 5 cents a word, starting next January. That is, if SFWA's lawyer says they have the authority to do this.

Three cents was a lot more in 1965, when SFWA (then Science Fiction Writers of America rather than Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America) was founded.
http://www.write-hemisphere.com

From http://eurekalert.org:
NEW BRUNSWICK/PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Green was the dominant color for plants both on land and in the ocean until about 250 million years ago when changes in the ocean's oxygen content - possibly sparked by a cataclysmic event - helped bring basic ocean plants with a red color to prominence - a status they retain today. That's the view of a group led by marine scientists from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, in a paper, "The Evolutionary Inheritance of Elemental Stoichiometry in Marine Phytoplankton" in the journal Nature, published Thursday (Sept. 18).

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