Philip Brewer's Writing Progress


Thursday, 06 January 2005

I assume everyone else has already read The Voluntary State by Christopher Rowe, which came out in SciFiction back in May, but which I had missed until today. Wow. It's an awesome story. It had a special impact on me, because it addresses a lot of the same themes and issues that I try to address in my fiction. With a few superficial similarities to my own work, the differences stand out in stark contrast. Impressive. Also, inspiring. I'm glad I found it.

One bit of advice I got back when I was first writing, was that I needed to "make things harder for my characters." Not an uncommon bit of advice, and I've tried to follow it. Looking back, though, I see that I've not explored the range of possibilities there. Over and over again, I've written stories about people trying to get by in terrible circumstances. That's fine, but it's not the only way to make things difficult. I've had too few characters trying to accomplish great things, another fine way to making thing hard. (Of course, that doesn't exhaust the possibilities either.)

A bit of writing today, trying to mix together some gonzo worldbuilding with some characters trying to accomplish great things. Too soon to know if it's working.


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