I first ran across the work of Kristine Kathryn Rusch when her named appeared on the bottom of a standard rejection form I got from The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, where she was head editor for several years. A short time later, I ran across one of her short stories (“Retrieval Artist” in the June 2000 ANALOG), which of course, led me t0 her RETRIEVAL ARTIST novels. I’m a fan now and started reading her blog (http://kriswrites.com/) a year or more ago. As always, I look for good writing advice to pass on to you as well as applying it to my own writing. I have her permission to quote from the articles. You can find the complete article referenced below, as well as links to her recent ANALOG story (http://www.analogsf.com/2011_07-08/index.shtml) and the exclusive audio version of a RETRIEVAL ARTIST novel that us reading folk won’t be able to get until December 2011 (http://www.audible.com/pd/ref=sr_1_1?asin=B005OSNTS8&qid=1317128702&sr=1-1).
No specific article this week, but I just want to bring your attention to Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s regular FREE FICTION MONDAY.
To put a frame around the kind of impact this had on my blogging, I need to give you a brief history of this blog. When I started in June of 2007, (which I transferred to Blogspot.com from some extremely obscure site I started on) I posted infrequently and only the seminal articles that gave my blog its name – Possibly Irritating Essays. In December, I tried dispensing my own writing advice, but no one seemed interested (most likely because though I’d been multiply published in two major venues (ANALOG and CRICKET) I had no novel (and subsequently no agent or editor readers could ask to borrow) and I started to look around to see if other better known writers were offering writing advice. In November of 2008, I had permission from children’s author and co-founder of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators to use writing advice from a talk she’d given at the local SCBWI conference.
In January of 2009 I made my first offering of “free fiction” with a series that’s currently running – because it’s actually my first draft of a novel called MARTIAN HOLIDAY (I KNOW there are major inconsistencies! That’s what I’m doing it for: to develop the book and test it out! Three others are awaiting editing, one a final edit before it hits the road.) THE RECONSTRUCTION OF MAI LI HASTINGS began next, followed by others. I asked for comments and only got them infrequently – but what I did get was gratefully received and applied as quickly as possible. But again, few people noticed. I shudder to think about the number of comments KKR would get if she tried this!
I have a rhythm now – as well as adding a second blog chronicling the family’s life from my wife’s diagnosis of breast cancer (Guy’s Gotta Talk About Breast Cancer (it’s sorta a play on words, actually, though I think the humor is mostly lost: http://breastcancerreaper.blogspot.com/).
Sunday is a POSSIBLY IRRITATING ESSAY, a Slice of PIE, or this: WRITING ADVICE.
Monday is nothing.
Tuesday is the idea I got from KKR’s site: IDEAS ON TUESDAY. I rotate between science fiction, fantasy and horror tropes that I picked up from some website or another (possibly this one, though I doubt it: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SpeculativeFictionTropes). But instead of just tossing an idea out there, I throw in a current news story, add some adolescents and then let the reader play and run away with it. All I ask in return is that they let me know if the idea bears fruit.
Wednesday is a break for me.
Thursday is my version of Free Fiction Monday and I currently rotate between two novels and a children’s picture book.
Friday is free.
Saturday is my post at GUY’S GOTTA TALK ABOUT BREAST CANCER.
Then it starts all over again. KKR has an enormous amount of information, advice, fiction and connections on her site. I seek to emulate that and as the number of my published works increases (and moves into novels) I expect the number of visitors to my site will increase slowly.