Robert J. Sawyer

Must…resist…NaNoWriMo

:::chewing fingernails:::

I found out, via Twitter, that one of my favorite sci-fi writers, Robert J. Sawyer, is taking part in NaNoWriMo, and has invited people to follow him. Yes, he tweeted it out. That in itself is almost enough to make me sign on. Argh. What to do, what to do?

I actually got a bit of revising done on the WIP so I’m feeling good about that. I really need to do some major surgery on it, though. It’s far too long for a first novel (nearly 107,000 words). I think I know what I want to cut, it’s a chapter I was never entirely happy with. The whole situation and things that come after it need to be excised (or exorcised maybe…). I really need to focus on making some progress on this.

But why in the world is Mr. Sawyer doing NaNo? Well, as I like to say, fortune favors the bold, so I actually replied to his tweet and asked him, not knowing if he is one of those famous personages (I don’t want to say ‘celebrity’ as that word has such a shallow, negative connotation to me) who responds to his followers. In short, he is (bless his heart). He replied and said he needs to get 50K words done to meet his deadline for his 21st novel. Yes, that’s twenty-first. Egads, I am SO behind in my reading :::cries::: I guess I had this idea that someone like him who has published numerous books is already into that groove and doesn’t need the sort of insane pace and focus that NaNo provides. Huh. Shows what I know. If you’re interested in following him on NaNoWriMo, he said his username is ‘Ergaster’ (for Homo ergaster, an early common ancestor of both homo sapiens and Neanderthal). I don’t think I’m breaking any code of ethics by mentioning that here since he did in fact tweet it out himself. The name doesn’t surprise me, his knowledge of human and earth history is extensive and is put to good use in his books. I used to tell people if you slept through science class, read his book “Calculating God,” it will just about make up for it.

Spent the day cleaning and putting up my Halloween decorations for any trick-or-treaters who may come by tomorrow. I might get a couple, although the last few years that’s about all I’ve had come by. But what the hey, it was fun and I like the decorations. Now, back to the WIP.

I need to pay more attention

How did I miss the beginning of this?

By a roundabout route I won’t go into and bore you with, I found an amazing thread going on at Black Gate magazine, initiated by Robert Sawyer on his own blog, posing the question, “Are the days of the full-time novelist numbered?”. If you’ve not read any Sawyer, I suggest his “Calculating God.” It was the first book of his I read, and I loved it. Sawyer also gave us “Flash Forward” which was made into a tv series that only marginally resembled the book. I liked “CG” better, though.

Anyway, back to Black Gate. Robert Silverberg (yes, him) has posted his own blog response about the subject raised by Mr. Sawyer. Then, Jerry Pournelle joined the convo.

The whole thing is a who’s who of the sci-fi world, from the 1950s onwards. Wow. If you’re interested in meditations on the future of sci-fi, and the future for writers, head on over. Makes me feel a little better, actually, knowing that now-famous writers struggled with day jobs as carpenters, professors, and various other jobs, and the advice has ever been “don’t quit your day job!” Maybe it’s that misery loves company, but it somehow feels less like I’m doing anything wrong, and just need to keep plugging away.

How Much Do Authors Make?

I just surfed into the web site of a fav sci-fi author, Robert J. Sawyer, and found a post there on his blog about how much authors make. Very interesting. It’s less than I would have expected, although I would think for the most popular authors, the best-sellers who are pretty much household names (think Stephen King, Michael Crichton, et al) they probably write their own contracts and command a higher percentage. But for the most part it seems to be a relatively modest income.