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Fiction by Paolo Bacigalupi

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Archive for February, 2007

Changed my writing schedule

Posted on Feb 28, 2007 in Blog, Writing | 2 comments

So I changed my writing schedule. I used to write in the afternoons, after finishing work. Now I’ve moved my work hours around so that they’re happening in the afternoons and I’m writing in the morning. The result? 1) I’m actually making progress on my book. 2) I look forward to my day, instead of dreading it, because I get to wake up every morning and know that I get to do some writing. It’s a great way to start the day: “Hey, I get to go be creative now!” This leads to… 3) I’m happier. 4) I have more hours available for writing, because I no longer allow...

When Democracy becomes moot

Posted on Feb 27, 2007 in Blog, food, politics | 3 comments

The whole GMO thing has gotten me thinking about where we’re headed as a democracy. Technically, the democracy thing means that the general populace has a strong say in their local/regional/national governance. And when it was first created, it seems like it must have been pretty okay. When the only things you really needed to legislate about were things like going to war and collecting taxes or building a road, the issues and the impacts were probably clear enough to provide a decent debate and a relatively fair democratic resolution (Yes, yes, sure there are caveats but still, bear with me here). But highly complex industrialized societies have so...

GMO’s and Farmers

Posted on Feb 27, 2007 in Blog, food | 2 comments

This is related to my spluttering about GMO’s on Daniel Abraham’s blog a week or so ago… Dr. Katherine Miller (who happens to be teaching a course this semester on sci-fi and science, how cool is that?) just pointed me to the Monsanto vs Schmeiser case, in which a farmer was sued by Monsanto for re-planting Roundup Ready seeds. The farmer took the case to the Canadian supreme court… and lost. I wasn’t aware of it at the time that I wrote “The Calorie Man” but it fits into my overall jaundiced sense of the world. The most interesting part of it to me, (other than the fact that...

Does Blogging do anything for a Writer?

Posted on Feb 26, 2007 in Blog, Writing | 14 comments

I’m wondering what people think about the value of blogging for writers. Specifically in the promotional sense. I’ve heard from a number of people that they think blogging is *the* way to get yourself out into the larger universe, or build up a following or… and I’m wondering if it’s true. I see some people blogging quite successfully, but often it seems they developed their blogging brand before they developed their writing brand. They had something to say, a dead horse to beat, what have you, and they built an audience around it. I’m wondering if people either have experience with blogging as a promotional tool, and/or if anyone’s...

10 indicators that your story might not be the one with the problem…

Posted on Feb 25, 2007 in Blog, Writing | 2 comments

I’m still unclear on how to tell when a story is really good and done, but I’m getting better at sensing when I’m not really dealing with a story’s central problems. Some indicators, in a handy top ten list: 1) You keep rewriting your first sentence, which focuses on a man riding a horse. Also, people are dying all around you. Seriously, though… 2) You’ve changed the tense of your story more than once, under the impression that present or past tense will dramatically affect the reader’s experience of immediacy in the story. 3) You’ve changed the sex of the main character more than once. 4) You’ve changed the...

I’ve killed before; I will kill again.

Posted on Feb 24, 2007 in Blog, Writing | 2 comments

I just killed a character. Well, what I really did is rip his guts out. He was fat; now he’s thin. And pretty much everything else about him is going to be changed as well, which means that around 90,000 words worth of references to what this guy was like and what motivates him will also need to change. Sometimes, when I write a story, I do pretty well with this stuff. Nailing down the character I need, and making him or her do the things that I need him/her to do (March, you lazy bastards! Line up! Gimme 1000 jumping jacks!) but every so often, I get tangled...

I hate the Internet

Posted on Feb 18, 2007 in Blog, misc, Writing | 2 comments

So, the reason I hate the internet (specifically email lists, blog posting areas, discussion boards, etc) is that it’s an incredibly clumsy medium for discussing anything with any level of nuance. The amount of time it takes to craft a post, only have it re-interpreted or mis-interpreted or simply ignored is horrific. Over and over, I tangle myself in discussions that could probably be productive and interesting if only they were occurring in person rather than online, but instead, the result is either a train wreck, or a massive time sink, or both. This comes to mind as I just dropped a couple hours ranting on Daniel Abraham’s blog...