Saint Johnsbury? And a question for you.

I don’t often look at the statistics for this weblog, because… (1) it doesn’t occur to me (2) it occurs to me but I don’t have time (3) lazy lazy lazy (4) this ain’t a competition (5) I’m an addictive personality, and why put myself in harm’s way? (6) I’ll keep on with the weblog as long as it feels right to me. Even if I’m just babbling to myself.

Having said that, today I did have a quick look and the first thing I noticed was that I had a huge influx of visitors from Saint Johnsbury, Vermont.

So this is me waving at y’all over there on the other side of the continent. Can’t imagine why you’re all here at once, but you’re welcome to stay as long as you like.

On other fronts, I have a question for you. Are you actively trying to write short stories or a novel? If you are, could you say so in the comments? You don’t have to go into detail. I’m just curious how many people who stop by are just readers, and how many are writers/readers.

29 Replies to “Saint Johnsbury? And a question for you.”

  1. I don’t think I would muster the motivation to make up my own language. I don’t think I have enough of a grasp of my own language to start making up my own.

  2. Just finished reading The Witches of Eastwick and there’s an issue in there about the re-naming of a town square to honour a Vietnam war “hero.” Very interesting way to develop characters, getting them involved in local political matters such as the renaming of streets/places. But it did make me wonder if Updike had researched that scenario, if it really happened that way. He also talks about the inconvenience to pedestrians of a bank drive-through teller installed downtown. I haven’t read an author who mentions everyday brands and objects quite so much in a long time. I am totally unfamiliar with his writing though. Maybe he doesn’t like to invent worlds on the day to day level, so uses what’s handy. But one novel is no way to judge an author.

  3. I write what will be categorized as SF because it concerns terraforming, but I haven’t bothered with a lot of invention yet because I know I could get bogged down in it — thinking it up and keeping it straight.

    From a novice perspective, it’s hard enough to remind yourself that you have to keep thinking about the plot and not get sidetracked with the “fun stuff.”

    I was part of an online SF critique group for about a year, and I read a lot of stories that were way too concerned with structural detail and left the story skeleton all to cliche. It seemed like a really good lesson in Don’t Do That.

    For me, there are certain science details that are vital to the plot, but basically, it’s a drama. Get the hero in a tree, throw rocks at him, throw more rocks at him, let him down from the tree.

    I’ve collected enough notes to be sure that when I set up scenes the basic structure of the world is considered, but I think the details are part of the overlay, not the basic plot. I see the invention phase as maybe a second or third draft thing.

  4. … and, having said all that, I realized that I’ve made a lot of structural decisions already in a subterranean kind of way … I already take them for granted.

    I guess it’s the embellishment phase that I see as a later step.

  5. Interesting. But kind of scary in a way too. Who knew all of that went into writing a novel? (that is a rhetorical question, of course)

  6. Fascinating subject… When i am reading a novel or piece of work, i tend to prefer the writer that weaves in all the details into the story rather than the one that leaves them out or rushes in a paragraph to describe something, or makes one feel like they are being shot out of a canyon, when reading the ending, to where you end up disatisfied with the ending. I get the feeling that type of writer really does not put much into research or thought into the whole story.

    Just as in ArT, or Theatre, you want to research the subject thoroughly so you can give a clearer and more rounded picture of what you are portraying or conveying to others.

  7. I love world building. I’ve been doing it since I was a little girl, and remember getting so involved in building this world so I could write a story for english that I completely forgot to actually WRITE the story until 2 days before it was due!

    I couldn’t imagine giving it only a little bit of thought. I collect photos from where-ever I’ve been in the world, because I am always inspired and have little bits of story FLY into my mind when I go past places, and I always think “I’d better take a photo of that, so I can put it on the storyboard/wall and link to it..”

  8. 1. I’ve always got something in the works. Well usually.

    I was seriously thinking of turning my idea for a series of linked short stories into a screenplay to take part in Script Frenzy. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll have the time to butcher yet another art form in June.

    2. Maybe the St-Johnsbury user is checking out your archives from a dynamic IP?

    3. Craftsbury, Duxbury, Glastenbury, Middlebury, Newbury, Roxbury, St-Johnsbury, Salisbury, Shaftsbury, Shrewsbury, Sudbury, Waterbury, Woodbury. What’s with all the *bury’s in Vermont eh?

    4. Yes, I -should- sleep, but I can’t.

  9. I’ve been writing for a long time, but just for my own pleasure (no aspirations of publication). I visit the site primarily as a reader, though if I pick up some useful craft knowledge along the way, all the better.

  10. I am primarily a reader, although I write a little and am very interested in the craft.

    All those ‘bury’s – are they nicked from England? We have Glastenbury, Newbury, Salisbury, Shaftsbury, Shrewsbury … and probably the rest too (it is very common here).

  11. I write. I have several novels – I use the word loosely, most are currently more collections of scenes – underway and write a lot of poetry too. I also blog.

    None of which I am actually paid to do, alas.

  12. Yep, just reading right now. I would like to say however that I once entertained the thought of writing fiction on a daily basis, and blogs and websites have opened my eyes to the reality of writing for a living (see your light humour a few posts later here). Now I’m thinking strategically about writing fiction, and I’d suggest your blog and those of other professional writers make that possible. So thank you!

  13. I’m a writer/reader. I primarily come by for fun and any new info on the Wilderness series, but it is always interesting and useful to learn how another writer works. I’ve got a plethora of short stories that are circulating right now looking for new homes (with some small successes lately) and I’m working on my first (and second and third and fourth) novel(s) at the moment. I have a bit of an attention span problem when it comes to my writing some days.

  14. Aspiring writer. I have two novels I’m working on, one a time-travel historical romance, the other a fantasy novel. I really look forward when you post tidbits for writers!

  15. Rosina, I’m just a reader! :-) Saint Johnsbury, Vermont caught my eye, that’s the area were I grew up! :-)

  16. I’m a reader/writer, it took forever for me to even have the guts to say yes I am a writer.

  17. I’m a reader too. Just love all the hot a juicy stuff on your website. Makes the heart sing.

  18. I love to read! Alas, I find that I have more success finding the time via books on CD. I fondly remember the days of flopping down on the couch and reading for hours. These darn kids, they want dinner and rides two and fro. Sheesh!

    Lonesome Dove was the first BIG book I ever read. I love every one of the characters. I was uncomfortable in my skin for days after the Irish boy died in the river with the snakes. I cried the UGLY cry when Gus, oh so stubbornly, died. I bawled my head off when Call woke up to find the crow picking at his body, or when he floated off down the river. Geez!

    I learned to love big books and big series. I was lucky when a Gabaldon group suggested your series. I know and love all the Lake in the Clouds people. They are my friends. I wish Curiosity lived in my neighborhood, she cracks me up! I love a woman who doesn’t let the “menfolk” get away with anything.

    I started coming here to find out about the upcoming books. I’m one of those pea-brained readers who wants the next book the second I’ve finished a new book. ;-) I’ve stayed because I enjoy the way you talk about writing. It makes me appreciate the writing process and how stories are formed. I like that you’re life isn’t perfect just like mine. I like that you turn me on to new authors. I like that you care about what we think. I wish you lived in my neighborhood, you are Curiosity, aren’t you? ;-)

    Lisa F.

  19. I’m a reader and also a writer — unpublished, as of yet, but almost finished with my 5th novel. I’ve been asked to submit a manuscript so I’m happy about that, though I know it may mean diddly squat in the end.

    I enjoy coming here to check out words of wisdom about writing and have discovered quite a few “tricks of the trade” which have helped me to understand and fix some of my bad habits.

    And, of course, it’s always good to know that I’m not the only one who hears voices…


  20. I’m a writer, working on the third draft of the first novel I’ve written that stands any chance of publication. I don’t read you daily, or even weekly, but you’re on my sidebar and I drop in when I feel in need of inspiration. I usually find some, in your archives if not in your most recent posts.

  21. I am a reader and an aspiring writer. I truly enjoy your weblog and the myriad of topics you discuss…

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