In today’s Journal
* Quotes of the Day
* Microsoft Flight Simulator
* Topic: “Info Dumps” vs. POV
* Post Tags and Different Strokes
* Another pretty good day
* Of Interest
* The Numbers
Has anyone out there ever used (played) the Microsoft Flight Simulator? Apparently it’s a game, but an extremely realistic one. I’m not a gamer, but I’m thinking it would be a great tool or aid in writing.
One of the magazines I subscribe to is Air & Space Smithsonian. The May 2021 issue contains an excellent article on the Flight Simulator. You can read it at https://www.airspacemag.com/flight-today/flight-box-180977303/.
In my case, the operatives in my Blackwell Ops series often fly off to exotic locations to rescue people and/or do harm to bad guys. If it isn’t cost prohibitive, I’m thinking the Flight Simulator would be invaluable to add realistic details. Just thought I’d mention it.
Topic: “Info Dumps” vs. POV
In TKZ in “Of Interest” today is a link to a post. The person who wrote the post thought it was about info dumps and author intrusion. The writer even asks how much is too much.
Gosh, as a writer I don’t think I’ve heard that question more than probably half a million times over the past few years.
Fortunately, the answer is easy: Any info dump and any author intrusion is too much.
That’s why in my own writing, I have one rule: Every word in the story is filtered through the POV character’s physical and emotional senses and slathered with his or her opinions of the setting or the other character(s). Every word. Period.
Every Single Time, info dumps are a result of author intrusion, the author providing his or her own description of the setting or his or her own opinion of what’s going on. And as I keep saying, there’s no room for that in good fiction.
Fortunately, there’s an easy solution. If you remember this is your characters’ story, the one that they (not you) are living, you won’t write any info dumps. To do so would be impossible.
That’s right. Actually the TKZ writer’s post is about POV. The author’s POV (author intrusion, info dumps) has no place in the story, because the author is not a character in the story.
Imagine you’re a court recorder. How much of your own opinion goes into the court record?
Right. Because it isn’t your story. It’s the story of what’s happening in the courtroom.
If you can remember that you are not the POV character of the story, you should have no problem with author intrusion.
Likewise for the scenes you look-in on as a writer. It isn’t your story. It’s the story of what’s happening in the various settings as your characters’ story unfolds.
Post Tags and Different Strokes
I forget the context, but one of my writer friends (and a reader of the Journal) wrote to tell me one time she doesn’t care for the post tags that appear on the Journal. As a result, I moved those from wherever they were (probably in the sidebar) to the bottom of the screen.
I didn’t stop using them completely because I personally like them, and as a reader I personally use them. If I go to a blog and want to find all the posts on a particular topic, I look for the post tags first. If they’re available, I click the one that interests me and blam! I’m taken to all the posts on that topic.
And that’s why I keep using them here. If you ever want to see every post I’ve written on a particular topic, scroll to the very bottom of the screen and click the tag for that topic. It isn’t a foolproof system. I sometimes forget to add a tag. For example, today’s post is tagged “POV” and “Author Intrusion” and “Info Dumps” and “Topic.” But I don’t always remember.
Fortunately, I’ve also included a search box over in the sidebar. You can type a keyword or phrase from the topic into that search box and a new page with posts on that topic or keyword will appear. (You can do the same thing over on HarveyStanbrough.com.)
I had another good writing day yesterday. The novel is sitting at 46,000 words and still no overall end in sight. I don’t expect this one to round out at around 50,000 words. Two new possibly hostile species recently introduced themselves. Not that I’m complaining. This is not a bad problem to have. I only hope my characters will come up with a way to wrap all the major issues (though not all the issues) in this one soon.
I’d like to keep the individual books in the series at around 50-60,000 words. But either way, when this one wraps I should have a good start on Book 11 of the FOH series.
Talk with you again soon.
See “Enough Already” at https://killzoneblog.com/2021/04/enough-already-2.html. A rare good post. As I wrote here a few days ago,
See “The Hollywood Murders” at https://www.thepassivevoice.com/the-hollywood-murders/.
See “Total Recall Technologies v. Luckey” at https://www.thepassivevoice.com/total-recall-technologies-v-luckey/. I posted this mostly for its reference to IP and because I enjoy reading opinions of judges who have had enough.
The Journal…………………………………… 860 words
Writing of Terra 2 (novel)
Day 10… 3272 words. Total words to date…… 33824
Day 11… 3439 words. Total words to date…… 37263
Day 12… 4266 words. Total words to date…… 41529
Day 13… 4449 words. Total words to date…… 45978
Total fiction words for April……… 45978
Total fiction words for the year………… 333055
Total nonfiction words for April… 8850
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 76250
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 409305
Calendar Year 2021 Novels to Date…………………… 6
Calendar Year 2021 Novellas to Date……………… X
Calendar Year 2021 Short Stories to Date… 3
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………………………………… 60
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)………………………………… 8
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)………………… 217
Short story collections……………………………………………… 31
Disclaimer: In this blog, I provide advice on writing fiction. I advocate a technique called Writing Into the Dark. To be crystal clear, WITD is not “the only way” to write, nor will I ever say it is. However, as I am the only writer who advocates WITD both publicly and regularly, I will continue to do so, among myriad other topics.