Saturday, October 15, 2005

Speculative fiction

Crap things writers do:
  • Whinge about writing.
  • Miss deadlines.
Apologies for being guilty of the former to talk about the latter…

Deadlines are good; I don’t ever miss them. If there’s a deadline, the work gets done.
  • Show off the whole bloody time.
Partly that’s to do with having employed people myself, and dealing with the fall-out when stuff comes in late – if at all. It’s also probably to do with just showing off.

(With Time Travellers nearly on the shelves, I’m suddenly much happier about the thing, having hated the last couple of months actually writing it. Was delighted to escape, lolloping off to edit other people's stuff and write scripts. Scripts and anthologies involve other people, so there’s more showing off to be done. At least in the immediate. But now, having 288 pages written by me – and me alone – is something I’m already dining out on…)
  • Go on and on about some "great idea", rather than actually writing it.
Writing on-spec, on the other hand, I’m just rubbish at. Having cleared the decks a bit a fortnight ago, I fully meant to get up to my eye-balls writing up all kinds of projects that occasionally grace my notebook. Stuff that isn’t Who-related, too.

And has any of it got done? Of course not.
  • Find ways not to write, then grouse about not getting stuff written.
Anything else is much more absorbing. I’ve abandoned the housework, deleted computer games, avoided mailing lists, banned TV during the day… and I can still stare at the wall for hours…

What’s worked in the past is promising stuff to chums: “I’m writing a thing on-spec, and if I get it to you on Friday, could you look it over?” Not even at that stage yet, though. Hum ho.

Pitches, though, I can do. Pitched a whole raft of stuff to various souls this week, and have been asked to write up a few of them. Pitches are good because they’re showing off again. Keep it brief, make it different, leave enough space for the bosses to add their own stuff… and you might just win some new deadlines.
  • Fill up blogs and webpages with self-indulgent old tosh like this.

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