It’s been a long time since my last blog post. In the two months since my last installment, I have been in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Detroit twice, Louisville, KY, Chicago, Germany, Switzerland, France, and Holland. I am currently in San Antonio, TX, hoping that my flight home tomorrow on the busiest travel day of the year actually takes off so I don’t spend Thanksgiving at Arby’s. The guy I am traveling with is my engineering side kick, an old road buddy. We have decided that if we get stuck at Arby’s, we are going to have a Thanksgiving Pageant like in Charlie Brown. He will be a Pilgrim and I get to be Squanto.
Was going to do some doppelgangers. but Labor Day Weekend caught up. Here is a new installment of Autumn Falls At Midnight This Year instead. Nest time, we will have a whole plethora of doeppelgangers to entertain.
It’s a shorter post from the Wombat tonight. A quick update on coming attractions and a new installment of the Wombat’s lastest fictional serial, Autumn Falls at Midnight This Year. So here goes.
Doppelgangers; seems they are everywhere. You get to know somebody and the next you know…
Now I confess to having used them now and again, although I would never admit to which ones in public. That would be like a magician showing his audience how he does his tricks. Illusion is after all, a doppelganger’s stock and trade. So why do it? You aren’t going to really astonish your friends and neighbors, and your family members sometimes start looking at you like you are Sybil.
Doppelgangers are however, the ultimate writer’s tool. Doppelgangers allow a writer to totally lose him/herself in a character. The improvisational nature of message boards, feed Doppelgangers with never ending story opportunities; just don’t be a dick unless it’s warranted. It’s good here to have friends without Doppelgangers who can help keep it all in perspective.
So, in keeping with our current theme of interaction, I thought that tomorrow, instead of me writing about Doppelgangers, I might have a Doppelganger round robin session with some actual Doppelgangers. If anybody has questions ahead of time, please send them to me in advance. Hehe.
So now we come to the bounce, and only a few days late. Bouncing is in the opinion of the Wombat, the funnest writing exercise that he has ever devised. OK, its not entirely a Wombat original I guess, but I have never heard anybody else call it bouncing before, so there you go. The Wombat also will try to stop referring to himself in the third person. There is this guy named Punnus Man I know that fell into that habit and he got pretty freakish
I guess I could explain the bouncing concept, but instead, I have asked Carina Tan-Van Baren, aka Carina Ballerina, the ethereal host of Waxings, a writer’s web site out of Perth Australia, to share some thoughts on the subject.
My last series of posts involved the collaboration process and how it has enabled me to write things I never would have on my own, using two different techniques I designed on a transatlantic flight where both turbulence and beverage flowed. The first technique, an Over The Wall done with my writer pal Robin Rhyner from Oregon resulted in my story, the William Bounce, that I serialized over the last few posts. Robin was good enough to comment on the process and those comments follow below.
Tomorrow, or thereabouts, I will have a guest post from Carina Tan-Van Baren, who is the brains behind Waxings, a site devoted to writing that you should definitely check out. Carina talks about bouncing, which is another kind of collaboration exercise.
Sidekicks. Funny, but that was the subject of some highjinks that I witnessed early this evening over on Facebook. In a very life imitates art moment, I was on the sidekick position on some super hero thing on the wall of a writer pal who I actually have done a fair bit of collaborating with. That one is a Bounce which is different than a OTW (Over The Wall) like the one I have been serializing here, but it brings us to the third ingredient, the collaborator.
You have your opening sentence and you have your tune ready? Now you need a collaborator.
Now writing is essentially a lonely, first person kind of thing. There are a few exceptions though, Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, Stephen King and Peter Straub, and John Skipp and Craig Spector immediately come to mind, and they can be exceptional.
Music is one of those things that writers have to decide. It’s kind of like Beatles or Stones. I am a music guy, that’s all there is to it. For the record I am listening to a very tasty Phish soundboard as I type.
Now, a lot of those who don’t write to music choose silence to limit distractions. Where do they write? I can’t help but wonder. Silence is something I do when I’m sleeping, both by nature and circumstances. If I am looking to check into writer land, nothing does the trick virtually instantaneously like tunes.
In my last post, I introduced the “Over The Wall” writing exercise. This is one I really encourage you to try. If your goal is to write, I can’t think of a quicker way to get you writing. All you need are three things:
- An opening line
- A song
- A collaborater
Today, we are going to focus on opening lines.
When William was a little boy, he wanted to be a Train Engineer.
It’s been awhile since my last post; life got in the way again. Since my last post I have been to China on business and went on family vacation to Rhode Island as soon as I got back. I am actually currently in the middle of a vacation from family vacation. I took some customers from my day gig to a Phish concert at The Gorge in WA. Perfect weather. Perfect venue. Perfect music. It was great business. I am flying back to RI tomorrow to finish family vacation, then get back home to do more business at Phish in Chicago next week. Note that I am doing my part to turn the wheels of economy. You think S&P will keep me at a AAA rating?
Although I have been busy, I have been writing every day, often looking for things to write about. One of the things that I did do recently, was to work on a writing exercise with my writer pal Robin. We played a game of my own devising called “Over The Wall.” The rules are flexible, but the results can be pretty good.
This “Over The Wall” began with a sentence from Robin:
When William was a little boy, he wanted to be a Train Engineer.
Once you have have decided to write a novel, there is no shortage of places where you can go to get advice on how to do it. This particular desire supports a large industry. Go to Amazon and type in how to write a novel and you will be rewarded with 6,182 opportunities to spend your money. Google the words “novel writing conferences” and you will instantly get 30,900,000 results, the majority of which are undoubtedly unique, intensive, and guaranteed to get ‘your creative juices flowing’. As a matter of fact, there were more results at Google for writing a novel than for any number of other jobs that I think would be very cool and pretty lucrative to have:
- How to write a novel: 104,000,000
- How to become President of The United States: 24,900,000
- How to become a porn star: 19,300,000
- How to become a rocket scientist: 1,910,000
- How to become a brain surgeon: 1,050,000