Q&A with Richard Lee Byers discussion

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message 1: by Richard (new)

Richard Byers (rleebyers) | 304 comments Mod
This topic is for questions and discussion about writing and publishing. Here are a couple questions to help get the conversation going.

Do you outline?

What's the best piece of writing advice you've come across?


message 2: by Stacey (new)

Stacey Turner (staceyturner) | 1 comments I don't outline except in my head and sometimes its only as far as the next two scenes. I usually know the ending though, so I have someplace to steer torwards.

The best piece of writing advice has to be: Its all about BIC. Butt in chair. I took that to mean that you have to just get yourself to your computer and start writing. =]


message 3: by Richard (new)

Richard Byers (rleebyers) | 304 comments Mod
Hi, Stacey,

I used to not outline. Then I did a lot of work where submitting an outline of a novel for approval was part of the process. Now, I find it to be a pain to write a novel without some semblance of an outline, although it isn't necessarily a very detailed one.

I completely agree with you that the most fundamental thing anyone can tell you about writing is that you must actually do it, not just plan it or fantasize about how nice it would be to become a writer. I guess that's why it's #1 in Robert A. Heinlein's rules for writers.

Best,

Richard


message 4: by Sara (new)

Sara Easton (SaraJoEaston) | 1 comments Richard,

What was the most difficult scene you ever had to write, and what about it was difficult?


message 5: by Richard (new)

Richard Byers (rleebyers) | 304 comments Mod
Wow...tough one. I've written so many millions of words of fiction over so many years that I can't pick out just one scene.

I will say that in general, big battle scenes with lots of things happening to a bunch of different characters can be tricky because you have to make sure that everything that's happening is clear to the reader. You can find scenes like that in a bunch of my Forgotten Realms novels.

Scenes whose purpose is essentially expository can be tricky because of the potential for them to be dull. You have to find a way to inject some conflict, drama, humor, or liven them up somehow.

Any scene from the point of view of a non-human character can be difficult. Much of my story "Zombie Camp" is told from the POV of a guy who's taken a drug that temporarily turns a person into an essentially mindless George Romero-style zombie. That was tough.


message 6: by Marco (new)

Marco Vadalà | 2 comments Any scene from the point of view of a non-human character can be difficult. Much of my story "Zombie Camp" is told from the POV of a guy who's taken a drug that temporarily turns a person into an essentially mindless George Romero-style zombie. That was tough.

As in the end of Unclean, where the POV is that of a vampire and a "particular" vampire at that (not spoilering). I loved the last page but one! :-)


message 7: by Richard (new)

Richard Byers (rleebyers) | 304 comments Mod
Thanks!


message 8: by Richard (new)

Richard Byers (rleebyers) | 304 comments Mod
Thanks to my good friend Wade, I belatedly found out that an article to which I contributed my thoughts on writing successful series characters has gone live. Check it out here:

http://www.wizards.com/DnD/Article.as...


message 9: by Richard (new)

Richard Byers (rleebyers) | 304 comments Mod
"Howard and Burroughs: Box Office Poison?" is my new column at Airlock Alpha:

http://airlockalpha.com/node/9010/ast...


message 10: by Richard (new)

Richard Byers (rleebyers) | 304 comments Mod
My new column at Airlock Alpha deals with the fine art of parody (and the new Dark Shadows movie.)

http://airlockalpha.com/node/9144/ast...


message 11: by Richard (new)

Richard Byers (rleebyers) | 304 comments Mod
For those who are interested, here's a new blog post on the subject of revising a novel in accordance with an editor's notes:

http://rleebyers.livejournal.com/


message 12: by Richard (new)

Richard Byers (rleebyers) | 304 comments Mod
I contributed a guest blog post to the Fantasist Enterprises site on the subject of authorial inspiration. Check it out:

http://fantasistent.com/2013/02/07/cr...


message 13: by Richard (new)

Richard Byers (rleebyers) | 304 comments Mod
My new post to The Night Bazaar is about reviews and reviewers. Check it out:

http://night-bazaar.com/reviews-the-g...


message 14: by Richard (new)

Richard Byers (rleebyers) | 304 comments Mod
This is the line-up for the 2013 Gen Con Indy Writer's Symposium. I believe we're in for some quality symposinating.

Saladin Ahmed, Lou Anders, Brad Beaulieu, Donald J. Bingle, Dylan Birtolo, Maurice Broaddus, Jennifer Brozek, Richard Lee Byers, Wesley Chu, Lawrence C. Connolly, Larry Correia, Maxwell Alexander Drake, Erin M. Evans, Dave Farland, Matt Forbeck, Jaym Gates, Paul Genesse, Jerry Gordon, Dave Gross, Sarah Hans, John Helfers, Jim C. Hines, William H. Horner III, Kerrie L. Hughes, Howard Andrew Jones, Gary Kloster, Mary Robinette Kowal, Jay Kristoff, James Lowder, Scott Lynch, Ari Marmell, Robert Mosher, Daniel Myers, Chris Pierson, Patrick Rothfuss, Jason Sanford, Ken Scholes, Erik Scott de Bie, Lucy A. Snyder, Mike Stackpole, George Strayton, James L. Sutter, Kelly Swails, Marc Tassin, Howard Tayler, Monica Valentinelli, Elizabeth Vaughan, Gregory A. Wilson, and 2013 Gen Con Indy Author Guest of Honor, Mercedes Lackey.


message 15: by Richard (new)

Richard Byers (rleebyers) | 304 comments Mod
My essay "How to Spoof (and How Not To)" is now a post to the Night Bazaar. It's a discussion of parody. Check it out:

http://night-bazaar.com/how-to-spoof-...


message 16: by Richard (new)

Richard Byers (rleebyers) | 304 comments Mod
My essay "How Real Do You Want It?" (about writing fight scenes) is now a post to The Night Bazaar.

http://night-bazaar.com/how-real-do-y...


message 17: by Richard (new)

Richard Byers (rleebyers) | 304 comments Mod
"ANTI-Realism in SF/F" is my new post to The Night Bazaar.

http://night-bazaar.com/anti-realism-...


message 18: by Richard (new)

Richard Byers (rleebyers) | 304 comments Mod
Here's info about the 2013 Gen Con Writer's Symposium:


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Author List Released for 2013 Gen Con Writer’s Symposium
INDIANAPOLIS (April 2nd, 2013) – The Gen Con Writer’s Symposium recently released the list of participating authors for 2013, and it includes some of the greatest science fiction, fantasy, and media tie-in writers working today. More than fifty talented authors and experts will participate in the panels planned for this year’s Writer’s Symposium, including Guests of Honor Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon.
Participating authors include:
Saladin Ahmed, Lou Anders, Brad Beaulieu, Donald J. Bingle, Dylan Birtolo, Maurice Broaddus, Jennifer Brozek, Richard Lee Byers, Wesley Chu, Lawrence C. Connolly, Larry Correia, Larry Dixon, Maxwell Alexander Drake, Erin M. Evans, Dave Farland, Matt Forbeck, Jaym Gates, Paul Genesse, Geoffrey Girard, Jerry Gordon, Dave Gross, Sarah Hans, John Helfers, Jim C. Hines, William H. Horner III, Kerrie L. Hughes, Howard Andrew Jones, Gary Kloster, Mary Robinette Kowal, Jay Kristoff, Mercedes Lackey, James Lowder, Scott Lynch, Ari Marmell, Robert Mosher, Daniel Myers, Chris Pierson, Patrick Rothfuss, Jason Sanford, Ken Scholes, Erik Scott de Bie, Lucy A. Snyder, Mike Stackpole, George Strayton, James L. Sutter, Kelly Swails, Marc Tassin, Howard Tayler, Monica Valentinelli, Elizabeth Vaughan, Gregory A. Wilson
This collection of talented writers includes New York Times bestsellers, USA Today bestsellers, and winners of numerous prestigious literary awards. This year alone, Writer’s Symposium panelists received eight nominations for the coveted Hugo and Nebula awards.
“We’re extremely excited,” said Marc Tassin, the Gen Con Literary Coordinator and the Symposium organizer. “The list of authors that have signed on to participate this year is quite incredible. This year’s Symposium is an unprecedented opportunity for both experienced and beginning writers to learn from some of the greatest writing talents out there today.”
"Having participated in numerous writing seminars both in and out of genre over the years, I am stunned by both the caliber of the participants and sheer size of the Gen Con Writer’s Symposium," said Lou Anders, Hugo award-winning Editorial Director of Pyr books. "I'm not sure anyone quite realizes that this symposium has quietly built itself into one of the largest and most impressive writing symposiums in the field. Anyone with an interest in writing science fiction and fantasy literature, whether media tie-in or not, should definitely have this on their radar."
A full event list for the Symposium is scheduled for release later this month. Tickets to Gen Con are available at www.gencon.com .
For more information, please contact Marc Tassin ( contact@genconwriters.com ).
About the Writer’s Symposium: The Gen Con Writer’s Symposium is one of the largest writing conferences in the world. Established in 1995, it offers more than 110 hours of events for both new and experienced authors. The Symposium features more than fifty authors and has served as a springboard for the careers of many accomplished writers. The Symposium will be held August 15th to 18th, 2013, in Indianapolis, Indiana as part of the annual Gen Con gaming convention. For more information on the Symposium, visit www.genconwriters.com .
About Gen Con: Gen Con, LLC produces the largest consumer hobby, fantasy, sci-fi and adventure game convention in North America. It was acquired in 2002 by former CEO and founder of Wizards of the Coast Peter Adkison, who owns the company headquartered in Seattle, Washington. Gen Con is a consumer and trade experience dedicated to gaming culture and community. www.gencon.com


message 19: by Richard (new)

Richard Byers (rleebyers) | 304 comments Mod
New blog: The Fun and Excitement of Indie Publishing, Step by Step: http://rleebyers.livejournal.com


message 20: by Richard (new)

Richard Byers (rleebyers) | 304 comments Mod
Sean Taylor interviewed me. Here's the link:

http://seanhtaylor.blogspot.com/2013/...


message 21: by Richard (new)

Richard Byers (rleebyers) | 304 comments Mod
My column on Airlock Alpha is about how to write a good Superman story. Or a bad one, if you must.

http://airlockalpha.com/node/9614/ast...


message 22: by Richard (new)

Richard Byers (rleebyers) | 304 comments Mod
If you pay attention to news from inside publishing, you may be aware that the Night Shade Books line is going through a transition that has slowed the release of new titles and the making of new deals. This, however, does not mean that the Night Shade authors have been idle. If you'd like to find out what some of us are currently up to, go here:

http://night-bazaar.com/what-are-your...


message 23: by Richard (new)

Richard Byers (rleebyers) | 304 comments Mod
"Brave New Kindle Worlds" is my new column on Airlock Alpha:

http://airlockalpha.com/node/9677/bra...


message 24: by Richard (new)

Richard Byers (rleebyers) | 304 comments Mod
As some of you may know, Night Shade Books, publisher of my urban fantasy novel Blind God’s Bluff, has had some financial difficulties. This has resulted in Night Shade being acquired by another publisher, Skyhorse.

Night Shade authors had the option to transfer their contracts to Skyhorse. As I understand it, some chose not to. I opted in. I did so partly to increase the likelihood of sequels to Blind God’s Bluff. I hope to write those by and by.

Thanks to Mary Robinette Kowal and all of SFWA for working behind the scenes to help the deal go through in a way that was fair to the authors involved. SFWA taken some heat of late, and perhaps deservedly so, but this is a reminder of the valuable work it does on behalf of its members.

Thanks also to my agent Andrew Zack, who blogged about the deal initially offered to writers and subsequently discussed the terms with Skyhorse. He too worked to ensure that authors received fair treatment.

So did Michael A. Stackpole and others who contributed to the online discussion of the sale and what it might mean for the authors involved. Thanks to all of you.

To read more about the Night Shade/Skyhorse deal, click here:

http://io9.com/its-official-the-sale-...


message 25: by Richard (new)

Richard Byers (rleebyers) | 304 comments Mod
As I've mentioned previously, my schedule for this year's Gen Con is a work in progress. Here's the most current version:

Thursday

10 AM: What should I write? (Writer's Symposium programming track)

11 AM: Heroes and Villains (Writer's Symposium)

7 PM: A Night with Dungeons and Dragons (Wizards of the Coast programming track)

Friday

8 AM: Worldbuilding 101 for Writers (Writer's Symposium)

Noon: Government and the Rule of Law (Writer's Symposium)

Saturday

8 AM Sharing Worlds (Writer's Symposium)

10 AM: Horror (Writer's Symposium)

11 AM: Urban fantasy (Writer's Symposium)

4 PM: The Fate of the Forgotten Realms (Wizards of the Coast)


message 26: by Richard (new)

Richard Byers (rleebyers) | 304 comments Mod
New blog post: What I Learned Scripting My First Graphic Novel:

rleebyers.livejournal.com/55489.html


message 27: by Richard (new)

Richard Byers (rleebyers) | 304 comments Mod
In my new Airlock Alpha column, I consider which DC heroes belong in the Justice League movie:

http://airlockalpha.com/node/9717/ast...


message 28: by Richard (new)

Richard Byers (rleebyers) | 304 comments Mod
For anyone who might be interested, here is my complete Gen Con schedule. All events are one hour unless indicated otherwise.

Thursday

10 AM: What should I write? (Writer’s Symposium programming track) ICC 245

11 AM: Heroes and Villains (Writer’s Symposium) ICC 245

1 PM: Signing (Wizards of the Coast programming track) ICC Hall D

7 PM: A Night with Dungeons and Dragons (Wizards of the Coast) - 4 hours - Indiana Roof Ballroom

Friday

8 AM: Worldbuilding 101 for Writers (Writer’s Symposium) (moderator) ICC 244

10 AM: Signing (Paizo programming track) Paizo booth, Dealer’s Room

Noon: Wordlbuilding: Government and the Rule of Law (Writer’s Symposium) (moderator) ICC 244

2 PM Signing (Wizards of the Coast) ICC Hall D

Saturday

8 AM: Exploring Genres: Shared Worlds (Writer’s Symposium) ICC 245

10 AM: Exploring Genres: Horror (Writer’s Symposium) (moderator) ICC 245

11 AM: Exploring Genres: Urban fantasy (Writer’s Symposium) (moderator) ICC 245

2 PM Signing (Wizards of the Coast) ICC Hall D

4 PM: The Fate of the Forgotten Realms (Wizards of the Coast) - 2 hours - ICC 120

6 PM: Candlekeep presents: The Harpers at Twilight (candlekeep.com programming track) - 4 hours - Crowne Plaza: Victoria Station A/B (I can’t do the whole 4 hours but will be there for a while sometime between 6 and 9.)

Sunday

10 AM: Signing (Paizo) Paizo booth, Dealer’s Room

3 PM: Pathfinder Tales Reading and Q&A (Paizo) ICC 231


message 29: by Richard (new)

Richard Byers (rleebyers) | 304 comments Mod
For anyone who might be interested, here is my official finalized Dragon Con panel schedule:

Title: Writing Non-fiction for Fun and Profit
Time: Fri 04:00 pm Location: Embassy D-F - Hyatt (Length: 1)

Title: Okay, You Sold It. Now What?
Time: Sun 01:00 pm Location: Embassy D-F - Hyatt (Length: 1)
Description: For writers who've sold their first novels and/or short stories. What should you expect next?

Title: Jeepers Creepers: WTF is Lurking Out There?
Time: Mon 11:30 am Location: Embassy D-F - Hyatt (Length: 1)
Description: A discussion of vampires, zombies, goblins, werewolves, demons, and other paranormal creatures in the literary market.

Title: Writers Roundtable
Time: Mon 02:30 pm Location: Embassy D-F - Hyatt (Length: 1)
Description: Now is the time to get all your questions answered. This panel is open for all writing questions.


message 30: by Richard (new)

Richard Byers (rleebyers) | 304 comments Mod
I leave it to others to call for a mass boycott if they see fit, partly because I don't feel like triggering another installment of the usual "Would a boycott be justified/useful?" argument. But I myself will not be seeing any more Shia LeBeouf movies. If you don't know why and you're curious, this should explain it:


http://robot6.comicbookresources.com/...


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