Tuesday, 25 January 2011


  • I'm reading a couple of books on creative writing, just for a change. I generally don't, because although there is often useful advice to be found, I'm a little wary of the 'this is the right way to do it' thread that seems to run through them. If there were only one right way, there would be only one author (who would probably end up being someone I hate, most probably)
  • Curiously, a similar attitude tends to show up in the martial arts. At a jujitsu class last night, one of the teachers started insisting that I do the stand up elements the karate way, because that was the 'right' way to do it, although I have previously worked hard to get away from many of those habits (I should point out here that I am referring to a particular brand of the art that I tend to think of as mid-20th century Japanese karate, were you have neither the common sense approach of the modern stuff, nor the slightly more plausible bunkai of the Okinawan stuff). I did it, but probably won't go back.
  • I have finished my third of a collection of short stories dealing with funny versions of historical events, and look forward to that one coming out later. It was a lot of fun to work on, though trying to produce fifteen 1000-1500 word pieces quickly while maintaining quality was tougher than it looked.
  • I'm still plugging away with multiple personal projects, though I note that my efforts have mostly focussed on one of them. I suspect that this is natural, and at least the others are there waiting if I get bored.
  • The Yorkshire sabre is this weekend.


Will Burke said...

Those who believe in The Right Way are horribly limited. It seems to be a way to impose order into a world that isn't orderly, and it's eventually crippling; stagnation is death!
PS the Confirmation word is "fordings," as in crossing a river/barrior. Cute.

Tessa Conte said...

I have a whole library of writing books... and very mixed feelings about them. The ones I like are the ones that go into psychological character building.

I'm also a big fan of the Hero's Journey - or the writerly version of it, the Writers' Journey.

Say... am I remembering correctly that you've done ghost writing?

Tessa Conte said...

(and you do fencing? Can I ask you technical questions if they come up in my writing?)

stu said...

Will, I very much agree. Even though I suspect that there is a craft to writing, it is vitally important not to let that become a set of boundaries.

stu said...

Tessa, ghostwriting is one of the ways I currently earn my living (the other being freelance copywriting).

As for the fencing, if you need technical guidance on modern swordplay, historical fighting techniques, martial arts, or even unrelated vaguely historical questions, I would be happy to help.

Tessa Conte said...

Would you mind doing a bit of a Q&A session with me for my blog? An interview-like thing to be posted?

stu said...

Sure. I'd be happy to do it. If you want to email me some questions as a starting point, try issharp at btinternet dot com.