Feeling My Way Through A Story

When people ask, “What is your writing process?” I am often embarrassed to tell them because it sounds so mystical.  I don’t outline ahead of time, or use Scribner’s to organize notes, or know the last sentence before I begin.  Instead, a character and situation will occur to me together (What if people didn’t need to sleep because a child was genetically engineered like that?) and I write the first scene very quickly.  Next, I stop to think, research the science, visualize the situation in greater detail, and figure out what might go wrong.  Then, for the rest of the story (this is the mystical part) I try to become that character, fuse with her or him, almost like Method acting.  I stop being Nancy and become The Character in thought and feeling to figure out what he or she might do next, and why.

This is not an efficient way to write.  Sometimes it doesn’t work at all.  I’m not recommending it.  But it seems to be my “process.”

Taos Toolbox Class!

Walter Jon Williams and I have chosen our 2018 Taos Tolbox class from among many worthy submissions.  Taos Toolbox is an intensive two-week workshop in writing science fiction and fantasy.  It is held at Angel Fire resort, in the mountains of New Mexico near Taos.  Guest lecturers this year are George R.R. Martin, Carrie Vaughn, and E.M. Tippetts.   Here are George talking to last year’s class, the 2017 class, and the main lodge at Angel Fire.  I am really looking forward to this.


Tuscon Book Festival

March 9-11, I attended the Tucson Book Festival, which was a lot of fun.  My favorite panel was one on Science in Science Fiction, with me, SF and screenwriter Robert Cargill, astrophysicist Chris Impey, and astronaut Leland Melvin.  Lively discussion of where the human race is going, and why.  This is me with Leland Melvin.

Leland Melvin and me