Brian Downes

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August 2011

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Brian Downes By writing.

That sounds facetious, but I'm serious. If you don't know what to write, write something. If it is terrible, you might see *how* it is…more
By writing.

That sounds facetious, but I'm serious. If you don't know what to write, write something. If it is terrible, you might see *how* it is terrible, and then be able to improve it.

Another thing to do is to think about your strategic goal. "OK, I need the Fraternity team to go to the coast of France. Why would they do that? Because they get reports of vampire activity there, of course!"

Or, "I need Tynyanov to meet Gretchen. How could they meet? At the Professor's, because they both know him!"

Another way to beat block is to think about your tactical goal. "At this dinner party, I need Frank to flirt with Edward so that Edward decides that he does want to go to bed with Frank, no matter how that might hurt Kevin. Also, Marci will kill Francisco with the apple corer in such a way that no one will see her do it. And the dog will get loose and tear up the neighbor's petunias. When the neighbor comes over to complain, she will be the one to find Francisco's body."

Once you know what you need the scene to do, it is easier to begin. Write with a purpose. Do not wander.(less)
Brian Downes There's nothing good about it. Of all the writers of the world, one tenth of one percent are Dan Brown or J.K. Rowling, or even one of James…moreThere's nothing good about it. Of all the writers of the world, one tenth of one percent are Dan Brown or J.K. Rowling, or even one of James Patterson's drones. The rest of us are unlucky. Unlucky that we can't stop. How I envy the man who has one unfinished novel in a drawer.

I cite George Orwell: "Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout with some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand."

Those who are not thus haunted are most blessed by fortune.

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Average rating: 4.5 · 10 ratings · 5 reviews · 3 distinct works
The Berlin Fraternity

4.83 avg rating — 6 ratings — published 2014
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The Carrefour Crisis

really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 3 ratings2 editions
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Red Sleeper (The World of T...

really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 1 rating2 editions
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The Things That Crawl by Richard Lee Byers
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The Things That Crawl is a wide and varied collection of scares from the venerable master, Richard Lee Byers. From a hellish confinement in “Office Space” to the dead things that lope at night across Civil War battlefields to the torments inside the ...more
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Our Man in Havana by Graham Greene
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Please Stop Helping Us by Jason L. Riley
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Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits by David  Wong
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Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits by David  Wong
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When Gravity Fails by George Alec Effinger
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Trust Me, I'm Lying by Ryan Holiday
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Operation Mincemeat by Ben Macintyre
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Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut
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More of Brian's books…
J.R.R. Tolkien
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

J.R.R. Tolkien
“Not all those who wander are lost.”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

J.R.R. Tolkien
“I wish it need not have happened in my time," said Frodo.
"So do I," said Gandalf, "and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

William Gibson
“The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.”
William Gibson, Neuromancer

William Gibson
“The street finds its own uses for things.”
William Gibson




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