IWSG: Controlled Chaos

Optional, August 4 IWSG question – What is your favorite writing craft book? Think of a book that every time you read it you learn something or you are inspired to write or try the new technique. And why?

True confession: I don’t read writing craft books more than once. There have only been a very few I’ve read through to the end, usually books on “What Not to Do” because – ouch, duly noted.

I keep saying I will read Stephen King’s On Writing or Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones again (I own both of them), but I’vestarted to accept that is not going to happen. Even if I did, both those books have been less about “new techniques” and more about inspiring or affirming the somewhat chaotic way I write, which is different from how other (successful) writers write.

I write every single day. Every. Single. Day. Not because it is a job. Because, I need to. When I’m really inspired by an idea, I will often write like a madwoman, forgetting to sleep and eat until I’m finished. This can be a problem.

See the source image
Actual picture of me in my writing room, grabbing a snack left by other helpful humans. Then, back to the wheel!

This month, despite not really submitting anything – in a probably unhealthy Bilbo hoarding the ring kind of way – I somehow have a poem appearing in an Aro/Ace (Aromantic/Asexual) Poetry Anthology. The sneaky, how did that happen “submission” consisted of someone in my Aro/Ace Writer’s Group asking for Aro/Ace poetry that they were not going to pay us for (oh, good, no pressure) to put in an anthology. As it turns out, that is Actually Happening.

This month I’m also writing a probably not marketable novel with an asexual character, inspired by said group and by conversations I’ve gotten into with a range of people about how Not Everything Is About Sex.

This novel has been SO hard to write. I keep wanting to ship this character with people, because how can I have a (female gendered) protagonist with NO love interest? Is that even allowed? (If she were a guy, maybe….) I’m not going to lie. This novel owns me now. Whether or not anyone else ever reads it, I need to write it. (And eat and sleep and go to work, but we all know that is just so I can Write More Book.) That’s how writing is, all the time. Now if I could just make it marketable, that would be awesome.

11 thoughts on “IWSG: Controlled Chaos

  1. Hari Om
    As I have just commented elsewhere, the ultimate way to improve writing is to just do it… read as widely as one can (even outwith one’s interests to broaden the mind and snap the synapses) but write, write write. Seems you are doing this.

    I would say, though, that one can love without being sexual. Mothers have done this eternally… and platonic relationships have existed throughout the ages. YAM xx

  2. I didn’t start getting into craft books until this year. And the ones I have are less about how to write, but ways to supplement my writing and help me dig deeper into my characters.

  3. I loved the hamster and its meaning, Anna! I can get in a writing mode like that and not even realize it until I’m weak with hunger. Unfortunately, this past year has been so challenging that I haven’t been able to slip into that happy mode. Good luck with your writing! Your novel sounds refreshing! Take care!

  4. A girl protag with no love interest! I’ll read it! That would be so refreshing. It may not hit the top ten in booksales, but I bet you’ll get a good following for it.
    I think I learnt equally from the two halves of King’s book – his life and journey, followed by his structured tips. The mina message is: nobody becomes an overnight success overnight.

  5. If you love romance and shipping people, yes, I can see how this is so challenging! I’d love to be a sounding board for you on this! But the plot matter will also help to streamline her into behaving the way you intend her! (I know someone who is asexual, so if you’d like some insight or have questions–you can email me!)

    Your methods of analyzing writerly how-to books works great. I love the way you do it.

    Best wishes to you. I’m rooting for you!!!

    ♥.•*¨Elizabeth Mueller¨*•.♥

  6. Don’t you love when your books/characters own you? It’s insane being a writer, and it’s obvious you empathize. Write on and see where it takes you!

  7. Your passion for writing seeps out of this post, and I’m sure that has to translate into a book that is engaging and compelling, regardless of how controversial (in some eyes) the subject matter might be. I’m sure you’ll find a market out there.

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