Posts Tagged ‘immerse or die’

Dragons Ahead

Time for specific answers to burning questions. Just what were the WTF moments IoD slapped me with? Are they legitimate?

(If you’ve just joined, here’s where you can find Part 1 and Part 2 of this conversation.)

The book I submitted was Unraveling Time, which I still feel is one of my best books. It does, unfortunately, suffer from having one of the roughest opening sections I’ve ever written. There are reasons the opening is so rough. The reasons do not excuse or justify its roughness, but they may be instructive to any writer rushing toward self-publication.

So below, after some backstory, I will examine the IoD charges, set down my verdicts, and wrap up this series of posts.


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Dragons Ahead

There are several things that, in younger years, I might have done with such a scathing critique as I received last week from Jefferson Smith’s Immerse or Die report.

(If you’ve just joined, Part 1 of this conversation can be found here.)

Most of these reactions are defensive in nature and, as such, they bring nothing to the table aside from their protective value. As I enter my dotage, I can safely say that one thing I’ know is this:

I can always learn if I want to do so, and I will never learn when I don’t.

And in this case, I want to.

So, here’s what I will not be doing in response to my IoD Smackdown.
(Writers: Pay close attention to Item #4 on the list.) (more…)

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Dragons AheadThis post is hard to write. It’s uncomfortable, and not a little embarrassing. No. More than that. It’s bloody humiliating. I debated whether or not I could ignore the situation entirely and pretend as if nothing had happened — Move along. Nothing to see here. — That, however, would have been neither honest nor productive, both of which are planks in the platform I use to run this blog.

And so, this post. (more…)

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Stack of BooksI’ve been thinking about “immersion” lately. A lot. It’s infected my daily thoughts, disturbed my reading, and stymied my writing.

If I was searching for someone to blame, I’d have to pick Jefferson Smith and the “Immerse or Die” project he runs over at CreativityHacker, but since it’s been an interesting and illuminating intrusion, I’ll thank him instead.

Immersion is that willing suspension of disbelief a reader brings to each new book. Readers know that the people in my books are not real, and that the events within my pages never really happened. They voluntarily set aside their logical, common-sense disbelief in the truth of my tale as they dive into my books, swim through the worlds and words of my description, and give their hearts to characters I’ve conjured out of nothing but air and brash intention. This is the contract between us, reader and author: they agree to pretend for a time that my stories are real, and I agree not to burst their bubble. It is a trust that I, as author, must handle gently, because when it is breached, it cannot be rebuilt. (more…)

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Coffee and NewspaperWhen I visited my school guidance counselor to discuss my future careers, the term “creativity scientist” never came up. Then again, neither did “musician” or “novelist” or even “computer programmer,” all of which I have used to describe various aspects of my “career.”

But “creativity scientist?” Wow, that sounds like a good gig. Of course, “zookeeper” sounds great, too, until you realize that it’s mostly shoveling poop. Come to think of it, “shoveling poop” describes every single job I’ve ever had, to one degree or another. Sometimes it’s my poop. Most times it’s someone else’s. No matter what, it’s poop. Everyone shovels poop.

Anyway…Jefferson Smith, who runs the Creativity Hacker website and blog, obviously attended a different school district than I did. He is a creativity scientist and novelist, and he’s got some interesting ideas and thoughts on all things creative, and especially about creative writing.

One of his ideas is his “Immerse or Die” program: Take a book, get on the treadmill, and see how long the author keeps the reader immersed in the world of the novel. (more…)

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