Home > Professional Life, The 25 Book Challenge, The Blotter, Writing Career > Evolution of Work from the Blotter

Evolution of Work from the Blotter

I am making a conscious effort to work on my craft because being mediocre isn’t acceptable. There are stories, authors I admire and I want to be able to hold my work in that same regard. Granted, I know that it’s going to be a long, hard journey to get there, but I want to get there. I will get there and I’m ready to do the work for it.

I’ve been reading more. A lot more. I was reading regularly, but I’ve stepped it up to make sure I’m reading every single day and listening to audiobooks when doing the dishes or folding laundry, and even driving in the car. Not only am I reading stories (novels, short stories, etc), I’m reading craft books. Right now, I’m reading The Writer’s Digest Guide to Science Fiction and Fantasy which includes Orson Scott Card’s How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy. I don’t really write science fiction, though there is some included in my stories thus far, and I’m not really a fantasy writer either, though those elements filter into them. I picked up the book because of a recommendation and the reference in the back that touches on things from those genres that I’m not entirely comfortable with like ritual and magic. My goal is to make it sound credible without being cliché or cheesy, and I thought this would be a great resource to have. What was pleasantly surprising was that while Card’s examples were sf/f specific, the advice was general enough to apply to any fiction genre. I’m getting a lot from the book, but I’ve already decided that I’m going to re-read it and take notes this time. There’s a lot I can learn and a lot I need to learn. Because of his advice, I’ve been able to recognize why a couple of my stories have failed. I’m optimistic that I’ll be able to learn what to avoid and how to improve.

I already have the 25 Book Challenge, but that’s my bare minimum point and I’m going to look for more opportunities to improve my skills. Oddly enough, I’m enjoying finding those opportunities and look forward to the challenge they present.  I’m considering Card’s book Characters and Viewpoint as my next undertaking based on a recommendation, and I have one on editing that I really need to dig into. I only wish there was more time in the day to read, or that I could read faster without losing comprehension. 🙂

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