Tag: Video Saturday

Video Saturday: Advice from Authors – Craftwork with Peter Straub

Award-winning horror novelist Peter Straub talks about writing tools and “tricks” of the trade.  He talks about the process by which individuals can improve their own individual craft and how their life is actually “on the page.”

In a series of four videos over an hour, he talks about “5 Rules that Keep you from Looking like an Imbecile.”  🙂 It is a light fun talk. As an example, #1 is: Never begin two sentences in a row with the same word. Never begin two paragraphs in a row with the same word. #2 is Rhymes are not allowed. I think you see the trend. 😉

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

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Saturday Video: Advice for #Writers – Via Extra Credits’ Places of #Horror

Usually our Videos are from authors talking about their own writing tips and tricks. The writing has varied from science fiction and fantasy, to romance, to comics, but today, I thought it would be fantastic to hear from people whose interest is in writing related to games. This episode of Extra Credits does a wonderful job of exploring settings in horror. While their focus is on horror in gaming, the setting of tone and an understanding of our own fears is discussed and important information regardless of the medium in which you work.

Horror settings fall into two basic categories: places of disempowerment and places of isolation. Places of disempowerment – such as alien worlds and the bottom of the sea – force us into situations where we don’t understand the rules of our environment, and can never tell when our expectations will be suddenly reversed. Places of isolation, like remote cabins and arctic research stations, make sure we know that no one will help us: if we can’t find a way to survive, we will simply die. The inherent terror in these settings can be amplified by giving them a haunted past, such an ancient graveyard or an abandoned asylum, or by making the place itself possessed of malice and willpower that’s directed against those inside it. Finally, these settings can provide psychological landscapes that reflect someone’s inner struggles and fears directly back onto them.

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Non-Video Saturday: An Interview with Tim Powers

Special thanks to @Ariadnes_Thread for mentioning a great interview which is this week’s “Advice to Writers” although it really is more of a way to get to know how Tim Powers writes, what appeals to him about “secret history” and his obvious love for the genre – http://likeiwassayingblog.com/2014/12/02/tim-powers-interview-with-a-secret-historian/

Some quotes are below:

“You come home at night. You don’t want to go to bed. You take out a piece of paper and you write CHAPTER ONE. And you write two pages, and you figure that’s pretty good. So you go to bed.

“And then the next night you’re in the mood again, so you pull out a fresh piece of paper and you write CHAPTER ONE. And you write a whole different thing.

“And eventually you realize, I’ve written a whole lot of page-and-a-halfs of various CHAPTER ONES. Add it all together, it’s a lot of words. But it’s not anything. What you’ve got to learn is: Every night when you’re in the mood, instead of starting something fresh, continue that previous thing until it’s done. Which was a tricky thing to learn, actually.

Powers writes 9 pm to 1 am.

“In my own first drafts, when I re-read them, it always seems like a bunch of people in street clothes holding scripts, standing on a bare stage, looking at tape marks on the floor and reading from the script very haltingly. And you think ok, well, that’s the first rehearsal. We’re going to get sets, we’re going to get costumes, there will be real drinks in the glasses, this isn’t the finished production.

“Well you go to YouTube a hundred people have been up there and videoed it. And that’s true for any situation you can imagine. I wonder what it’s like to be on a sailing ship, squarerigger, standing at the bow in he middle of a storm. It would be useful to get some sensory impressions of that. I’ve never tried it but I’m sure a hundred people on YouTube have done it.

“What would it be like to be on skis going over a cliff in the Alps? Some poor devil has videoed it. You get to experience it to the extent of those two senses, sight and hearing.

Powers puts in a quota of a thousand words a day.

“I try to outline so absolutely that I’ll never be stuck with a question as I’m writing. My outline, before I ever start, includes bits of dialogue, even some descriptions. Of course when you’re actually writing the book, it turns out there’s things you didn’t think to outline. But I try to minimize those snags by outlining in advance to a obsessive or insane degree.”

“To an extent, I think I have an advantage in that I have been [writing professionally] forever. I think I’m fortunate in that I’ve been published since the 70s. I think if I was starting out right now, the online presence would be much more urgent. It does seem like there’s this vast churning crowd and you’ve got to do something to draw people’s eye to you.


Video Saturday: Ta-Nehisi Coats – Advice to #Writers

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a writer and journalist. I know of him mostly from his work at The Atlantic, where he writes about cultural and political issues, particularly as regards African-Americans. But he has previously written for Time, The Village Voice, The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, O, as well as having published two books. The first is a memoir and the second, which won this year’s National Book Award, Between the World and Me.

“I always consider the entire process about failure, and I think that’s the reason why more people don’t write.”

He also did a great interview for NPR that you can listen to here:
Ta-Nehisi Coates On His Work And The Painful Process Of Getting Conscious

I may also be a fan because he is a fellow comics-geek:
Ta-Nehisi Coates Unpacks the Way Comics Have Conquered the World

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Video Saturday: Advice to #Writers (and #Filmmakers) – Spike Lee

This week’s Video Saturday is from Spike Lee. The loud music in the video is a bit annoying but I love what he has to say about storytelling, and I love even more where he pushes the interviewer about defining his terminology and the importance of being clear.

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Video Saturday: Advice on #Writing – How to Get an #Agent (and of course, the dreaded #query letter)

Okay, today’s Video Saturday is about how to get an agent. We picked three short quick videos for friend-of-the-blog (and guest posterTony Dobranski who is in the middle of this process right now. Who better to hear from than the prolific Stephen J. Cannell (one of my favorite inspirations for great dialogue), “Literary Agents: The Best Pitch Letters They’ve Received,” (with some fun examples), and “2 Quick Tips on Writing Query Letter from Agent Kristin Nelson.”   Good luck, Tony!

Stephen J. Cannell

 

Literary Agents

 

Kristin Nelson

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