Posts Tagged ‘Synth’

Write the next line…

June 2, 2014

Desert 03One of my writing mentors often says that the way to get past writer’s block, is just to  write the next line, even if you don’t know where it will take you. I often think of it as just taking the next step while staring out across the trackless desert sands from atop a camel’s back, but that’s just the image I’ve created for myself.

When I wrote Synth: Gold Record, the first 20K words and basic story arc leapt onto the page in two sittings. Then I putzed and frittered my way around through the next 15K words, kicking through the rocks and weeds at the edge of the desert for a v-e-r-y long time, staring out across the empty sands and letting them intimidate me. I had no idea where the story was going, other than one or two of the scenes that ended up near the end of the book. But how to get there…???

And then I tried just writing the next line. It sucked, and I later went back and changed it, but at the moment when I took that first hesitant step into the desert of the blank page, it didn’t feel so bad. So I took another step, and then another, and the story started telling itself again.

“Writing the next line” became “writing the next scene.”
“Writing one page a day” became days where I’d look up and realize I’d written entire chapters.

Yes, there were days during that journey across the desert of the book that I hesitated, looked back at the single line of footprints stretching behind me into the distance and forward at the drifts and dunes and blowing sand ahead and wondered where the story was taking me – and I left Brianna stranded in an avalanche or floating through space in a cargo ship full of screaming herdbeasts or lounging around in her mentor’s safe-house while I wrestled my doubts back into submission – and then I took the next step, wrote the next line, the next scene, the next chapter.

And six months after I wandered into the wilderness, I found my way out of it. The book was finished – another 105K words added to the 35K I’d started with, with twists and turns and situations and characters I’d never imagined.

Because I set the goal of “write the next line.”

MDesert 02y goal is more lofty now – it’s “one page a day” – and some days it’s difficult to find the time to write that single page. But if I meet that goal, I’ll have a book finished in a year, which isn’t too shabby when it comes to squeezing in writing time around the demands of a job and a life – demands I’ve let get the better of me in the last year or so.

Write the next line.
Write the next scene.
Write one page a day.

Odds are, meeting easily achievable goals like these just won’t be enough, and you’ll find yourself writing two lines, or three, or finishing a chapter instead of just a scene. Because storytelling is addictive, and once you let a story take root in your mind, it will keep dragging you back to the chair until it’s finished with you.

And, odds are, by the time the book is finished, you’ll look up to discover that other stories have taken root in the fertile ground of your imagination and are just waiting for their turn to take control of your fingers at the keyboard……….

Write on!

L

p.s. In case you were wondering, this little essay is just over 600 words long, slightly over two pages in manuscript format. It took me 25 minutes to write. And there’s still 23 hours and 35 minutes left of my day, some of which is unscheduled…

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p.s. 2 The article (below) is what got me thinking about this whole idea again today. It’s from a business perspective, not writing-focused at all, but applies to pretty much any type of goal you may find yourself struggling with.

Why You Should Set Goals So Simple They’re Laughable
Laura Montini | Inc. | Apr 15, 2014
http://www.inc.com/laura-montini/why-you-should-set-goals-so-simple-that-they-re-laughable.html
   …pledging to do something manageable is counterintuitive to most high-achievers. Instead, individuals are more likely to set [less-manageable] goals. “We create a situation somehow where A) failure is likely and B) failure is terribly, terribly devastating,” Forte said. But there’s an easy solution. In fact, it’s ridiculously easy…

Synth: Gold Record

May 21, 2013

"Memoirs of a Synth: Gold Record," a novel by Leigh SaundersI’m very pleased – very, very pleased – to introduce you to my good friend, Brianna Rei, the main character of Gold Record, the first full-length novel in the Memoirs of a Synth series. If you’ve read the short story, Firstdawn, you’ve already met Brianna, and you know that she’s smart, a little sassy, takes risks for a living, and is always on the run.

What you may not know is that she’s been pestering me for ages to tell her stories – and as you might imagine, someone with Brianna’s background has lots of stories to tell! (And yes, I’m already taking notes for the next installment.)

I hope you enjoy Memoirs of a Synth: Gold Record. It was a lot of fun to write – all 149,220 words (400+ pages) of it! In future posts, I’ll tell you some of the stories behind the writing of some parts of the book – if you have specific passages you’re curious about, drop me a note and I’ll be sure to tell you about those scenes.

Available on Kindle, Nook, iBooks, and Smashwords, $5.99

Missing WorldCon

August 17, 2011

Sadly, I’m not going to make it to Renovation, the 69th World Science Fiction Convention. Much as I’d like to be there – both to see old friends and meet new ones – real life demands are keeping me at home.

Fortunately, my publisher, Camden Park Press, came up with an idea I hope will catch on – during the WorldCon weekend (Aug 17-21), we’re discounting the price of my novel, Memoirs of a Synth: Gold Record to just $2.99 (using Smashwords coupon code PG94B).

"Memoirs of a Synth: Gold Record," a novel by Leigh SaundersSo if you’re looking for a good science fiction novel to while away the hours and distract you from the WorldCon events you’re missing – or if you’re at WorldCon and want to take a book home to read that doesn’t add any weight to your luggage – I hope you’ll pick up a copy of Memoirs of a Synth: Gold Record this weekend!

And [shameless plug here] if you enjoy it, please post a review and tell your friends!

Expect the unexpected…

April 9, 2011

I was very happy a few days ago when I read the NASA report that the Voyager spacecraft are at the edge of the solar system, and about to enter interstellar space.

Why?

Because I remember when they took off – I was in high school, and wrote a report for my English class. My report would have been much better if I’d had access to resources like the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Voyager mission page; I had to rely on newspaper reports and what I could glean from faithfully watching NOVA on telelvision, hosted by Carl Sagan.

NASA_Voyager Golden Record CoverOf course, now reports of the Voyager missions make me happy for another reason. I’m a science fiction writer. And what’s cooler than to incorporate something real into a science fiction story? Well, that’s exactly what I’ve done – and it’s been a blast. (And no, I’m not taunting you – the novel, Synth: Gold Record,  will be coming out soon, so check back for the announcement!)

In the meantime, I loved the closing passage from the NASA report so much that I wanted to repost it here (but really, click on the links above and read the whole report for yourself – it’s “way cool!” as we used to say in the seventies):

“A billion years from now, when everything on Earth we’ve ever made has crumbled into dust, when the continents have changed beyond recognition and our species is unimaginably altered or extinct, the Voyager record will speak for us,” wrote Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan in an introduction to a CD version of the record.

Some people note that the chance of aliens finding the Golden Record is fantastically remote. The Voyager probes won’t come within a few light years of another star for some 40,000 years. What are the odds of making contact under such circumstances?

On the other hand, what are the odds of a race of primates evolving to sentience, developing spaceflight, and sending the sound of barking dogs into the cosmos?

Expect the unexpected, indeed.