6 thoughts on “Questions 11: What If I Suck?”

  1. JD,

    I have several questions so I will just number all of them and let you decide which ones to answer. Love your podcast, it was a great help!

    1) How do you write convincing scenes in places you’ve never been too? Places that I don’t know any better than the audience, but need too.

    2) How do you develop the setting as it’s own character, with all that that implies? When I write, I tend to find I either spend too much time writing my world building or leave the reader having to do it themselves.

    3) What do you do when your research sources disagree? If it isn’t a subject you’re an expert on, how do you know a good source from a dud?

    4) How do you know what ergonomic equipment (keyboard, mouse, desk, chair) is the right one for you? I went into a major box office supply store and they just point you to the isle it’s in but couldn’t help me more than that.

    5) What are your thoughts on dictating your book versus typing it? If you dictate it, do you have any advice or tips?

    6) I just re-listened to your episode on the dreaded cliché. What if you’re unaware of all of them, how do you spot them and thus avoid them?

    Thanks, and I hope listing so many was okay!

    SGT Mike

  2. JD,

    I missed a question when I listed all of mine!! Sorry if they’re too many….

    A) Once you’ve finished your novel, how do you go about finding good editors/cover designers and the other people necessary to finalize the text for publishing?

    B) What are some good exercises for us to use to improve our craft? Is there a workbook etc you recommend to prompt these training tools?

    C) How do you determine what to write on the back of the novel, once it is ready to publish? The summary that grabs the reader, without giving away too much..

    D) Any thoughts on marketing your book, once you are ready to publish it?

    E) I write science fiction, specifically military science fiction. What can I do to appeal to more female readers, who traditionally aren’t fans of this genre, without writing formulaic PC drivel that offends my regular audience? Thoughts on reaching target audiences beyond your regular fan-base?

    F) I am finding that I have too much dialog in my novel, how do I balance keeping a consistent point of view, avoid passive voice, without over using dialog?

    G) World-building: How much is enough, without giving too much and loosing the plot and the reader? I struggle with giving too much, effectively spoon feeding the audience, and giving them room to create their own mental image.

    After I get some sleep I might have some more! 😛

    SGT Mike

  3. Missed a question!!

    How do you manage writing multiple projects at once, without getting lost in the sauce and having them all collide into a wordsplosion of craptacular magnatudes?

    Forgive the wording, it’s late and the caffeine meter is running on E!

    SGT Mike

  4. One of my biggest hang-ups, and a killer to my productivity, is starting. Especially at the beginning of a new project. I find it near impossible to just dive in, and end up spending a number of days spinning my wheels. Do you have any tricks/tips for getting over the hump of starting a new project?

    Incidentally, I also sometimes have this issue at the start of a new chapter. I get caught up in a cycle of “How should I start it? Where should I set it? What should it be about? Where should it end?” Basically a miniature version of the anxieties about starting the whole novel itself.

    Could be I’m just neurotic. But if you have any insight into this kind of problem, I’m all ears. 🙂

  5. How do you suggest someone get into using dictation if they’re technologically challenged? Speak which programs, equipment etc if you don’t mind!

    How do you recommend tracking your writing if you’re not good at all the computer programs?

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