Website of Science Fiction Writer Ron Collins

Monthly archives for October, 2009

Pressing Forward

A few words a day makes a difference, though in truth this morning saw very few actual new words. My story is global in nature and takes place in a fairly short span of time, so time zones make a difference. Under the guidelines that one should write like mad when the fire is burning, I have been forging on at certain points where I was uncertain of the effects of this timing.

In other words, as long as I figured it was daytime in [insert favorite setting here], I wrote the storyline around waking times. I could smooth out the edges later.

The last two days I’ve gotten myself a bit bogged down with things like who should be sleeping and who should be awake. You know, little nits like that. So this morning I bit the bullet and created a full-page diagram of the story along with a world clock that registers the actual time it is at each place around the globe at all moments. This makes things much easier.

Perhaps I should have done that earlier. Dunno.

All I can say for certain is that I’ve got about 18,000 words behind me and clear sailing ahead. I can live with that.


Listening To: Laura Love, Led Zeppelin
(I know, not a pair that would jump to mind)

Good progress this morning. Probably only 1,000 words, but I needed to get some research done, too. These things sometimes take serious thinking and reading time, and this morning gave me that opportunity.

I was recently reading something about the writing process wherein the writer said (and I apologize for not quoting the name at this time–I’ll add it back later if I get a chance to) … anyway … the writer said one of the things he liked about the process was that you constantly get to experience the feeling of discovering how to solve a problem that was standing in the way of a story. I can grok it, man. I can grok it.


Restructuring this novel has been interesting. I like its pace now, I like its transitions.

I was thinking about this a couple days ago while I was mowing the yard. What was it that made me realize I hadn’t started in the right place to begin with? What was it that made me uncomfortable? It wasn’t the writing. The writing was good, I thought…or at least the words sounded good to me inside my head–the technical part of conveying information was solid. I liked the characters, but I admit they were getting to bore me. Maybe that’s it, I guess. They were boring me. Maybe that’s how I knew.

But it’s not really their fault. They are perfectly interesting characters.

What I realized, looking back as I cut swathes of green through my yard, was that I had spent a majority of the first thirty pages in the heads of the characters. This means the opening was a classic series of character studies done via thinly disguised information dumps made semi-necessary due to a combination of where I started and the lack of depth I had built into these characters when I first set out to create this work.

And that, my friends, is a helluva sentence to write this danged early in the morning.

So at present I consider the first 40 or so pages of the first draft to be a good piece of story research, and I’ve moved on so much the wiser.

Me and a Tree

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Lords of Existence (Feb)
Lord of the Freeborn (Feb)
Changing of the Guard (Jan)
Pawn of the Planewalker (Jan)

Good Luck Charm (Jan)

Short Stories:
Goliath vs. Robodog (Jan)
Fraternization (Jan)
Daily Teds (Mar)
The Grand Dangoolie (May)
The Odds (Jun)
Tumbling Dice (Jul)
The Colossal Death Ray (Jul)
The White Game (Nov)

Free Stories!

The Colossal Death Ray @ Galaxy's Edge
Good Luck Charm @ Abyss & Apex
Midnight at River's Edge @ Daily SF
Out of the Fire @ Interstellar Fiction

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October 2009
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