Monthly Archives: February 2021

Weekly writing check-in: before you start that prequel

There’s a terrific article over on Tor.com this week: Is There Such a Thing as a Necessary Prequel?

The comments are worth a read too. Yes, I know. Generally speaking, you shouldn’t read the comments. The ones at Tor.com are thoughtful and insightful.

This is a timely thing for writers to think about. So often, the advice gets tossed around to “write a prequel” as a loss leader or a reader magnet for a newsletter. But … should you?

I tend to fall into the “no” camp. Honestly, if those events in the prequel were important and compelling, I would’ve started the story there. Likewise, I have similar feelings about sequels. This may surprise you since I’m working on Coffee and Ghosts Season Four.

However, I’ve been thinking about it for nearly three years now. Not just: is there a plot and new things to explore in the C&G world? But also: can the characters still change and grow?

I’m hoping the answer is yes to both those questions. Even though the series is meant to be fun and light, it’s not necessarily a light undertaking.

And speaking of which, after the last two weeks on a writing tear, I’ve slowed down. I’m pondering some worldbuilding questions that not only affect this episode but the rest of season four.

So this week was spent pondering questions with lots of longhand notes.

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Weekly writing check-in: off on a writing tear

I spent the weekend on a “Jo March” writing tear.

Unfortunately, I don’t have the hat.

I do have many draft words.

I didn’t log onto the internet (except for a quick check of my mail and to sync my file).

I thought about booting up my desktop and writing my update on Sunday.

Clearly, that didn’t happen.

But I can see the end of this new draft, and that’s a good thing.

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Blog interview: The Beauty of Storytelling

I had the chance to do an interview with Hawthorne Orchard, a student-led nonprofit made up of students from various local high schools.

They asked some great questions, a couple of which I really had to think about.

You can read the interview here.

While you’re there, click around to see all the other things they’ve been up to.

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Weekly writing check-in: spills and chills

So way back in the day, I had a weekly paper route.

Those of you of a certain age may remember the weekly shopper newspaper. It was a small publication of mostly ads held together by a few human interest stories.

For three or so years, every Tuesday, I would diligently deliver these little papers in the neighborhood next to mine.

Fun fact: this neighborhood was the neighborhood from the Betsy-Tacy books.

The neighborhood contained several hills (and still does, to my knowledge). One hill, in particular, was particularly brutal. Each winter, like clockwork, my feet would slip out from under me, and I would smash my tailbone against the ice-slicked asphalt.

Even after I’d relinquished the route, I made it a practice to slip on the ice or the steps at least once a year. It wasn’t winter until I took a tumble and bruised my tailbone.

Well, last Sunday, I renewed that tradition. I’m fine, but I went down hard on some ice in our driveway.

After that, I was in no mood for the internet, never mind booting up my computer.

And yes, my tailbone still aches.

But I am making good progress on Coffee & Ghosts. So there’s that. I mean, it’s currently -9 right now. It’s not like we’re going to pull on our boots and take a hike.

I’d probably just slip on the ice anyway …

 

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