Edward Willett

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On suffering the affliction of Editor Brain

It’s always a mistake to make a grand pronouncement that one is going to make a valiant attempt to post regularly to one’s blog again, especially after having made similar grand pronouncements in the past and then not following through, but... Consider this my grand pronouncement. It’s not as if I can’t come up with words. Give me a keyboard, I make words. It’s kind of like a reflex, something hard-wired, although I’m not quite sure how it evolved since it seems unlikely I’m the descendant of ancient proto-humans who survived to reproduce only because they were good at wriggling their fingers while making up stories. In any event, here I ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 9:57, November 26th, 2012 under Blog, Writing and Editing | Comment now »

My favorite author thinks I’m stupid: the perils of Internet pontification

The great thing about the Internet is the way you can find out way more information than you ever used to about your favorite authors, actors, singers, etc. Or not. Because here’s the thing: most people don’t agree with you. Oh, don’t feel bad, they don’t agree with me, either. Sure, you can find people who agree with you about lots of things. If you’re really lucky, that person might even be your spouse or child...but even people who agree with you about lots of things don’t agree with you about everything. Used to be, even when I was a kid, you just didn’t know much about what your favorite authors and performers thought. You ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 8:01, November 27th, 2012 under Blog, Writing and Editing | Comment now »

Every book’s a stage, and all I really want to do is direct

Regular readers of this blog (if such people exist) will know that I act as well as write, and have done since I was 11 years old and in Grade 7 at Weyburn Junior High School, when I was cast in the lead role of Petruchio in a one-act adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. Perhaps it was because I got to carry a (plastic) sword, and even draw and wave it around at one point, but I was hooked. (No, it wasn’t because I got kissed by a girl, which was not as high on my list of things I wanted to happen at that point as it ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 9:41, November 28th, 2012 under Blog, Writing and Editing | Comment now »

Writing for an audience

My wife and I have had season tickets to the Globe Theatre here in Regina for many years. One of the great things about having season tickets is that you go to shows you might otherwise not have chosen to attend, because you’ve committed yourself to taking in whatever the artistic director decides to present. Of course, that means that sometimes you sit through plays you’d probably just as soon have skipped, and that happened to us a few years ago. While we were still in the what-were-they-thinking why-did-they-produce-that that-was-awful stage of grumbling, we heard an interview with the playwright who said that she gave no thought to the audience ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 8:22, November 29th, 2012 under Blog, Writing and Editing | 4 Comments »

Some writerly (in residence) advice

From last September through May of this year, I served as writer-in-residence at the Regina Public Library, the latest in a long string of writers to serve in that position, which I understand is the longest-running program of its kind in any library in the country. During my nine months, spending one day a week in my library office, I met with 75 individual writers, many more than once, some several times, critiquing their writing and answering their questions. And what, you may ask (or you may not, but I’m going to imagine you did so I have a reason to continue this post), was the writing advice ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 9:25, November 30th, 2012 under Blog, Writing and Editing | Comment now »

How I became a DAW author

Here is a tale I’ve told oft before, though never (I think) in print or pixel: the tale of how I became a DAW author. It’s an oft-told tale because I like to share it with writers who are still in that seeking-publication stage, for though the specifics of it are of little use (I doubt any other writer has taken or will take my particular route to a New York publisher), there are some details of it that are, I hope, both helpful and encouraging. Here’s how it transpired... As the new millennium dawned, I had written quite a lot of non-fiction, but only five novels had appeared bearing ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 10:45, December 4th, 2012 under Blog, Books, Writing and Editing | Comment now »

TSR, Gygax, D&D & me

TSR. Gygax. The names may mean nothing to you, but to me, they were once words of power, for TSR (Tactical Studies Rules Inc.) published Dungeon & Dragons...and Gary Gygax, who cofounded the company in 1973 with childhood friend Don Kaye, created that seminal fantasy role-playing game, along with Dave Arneson. Now comes news that Luke Gygax and E. Gary Gygax Jr, sons of Gary Gygax, are relaunching TSR Games: a new company with the old trademark, which they purchased after it was abandoned by D&D owner Wizards of the Coast (itself owned by Hasbro) about nine years ago. They’re also launching a new gaming publication, Gygax Magazine. Why do TSR ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 8:58, December 6th, 2012 under Blog, Writing and Editing | 1 Comment »

Kingdom in Shadows, by Alice Willett, age 11

My daughter likes to write, too. Here's a recent piece, illustrated by the author. Kingdom in Shadows By Alice Willett The Kingdom of Averendel was dying. One girl looked out of her window, the rain drizzling outside. The girl was crying. Her little sister came in with a letter. The girl turned, wiping tears from her eyes. “You have mail!” the littler girl said cheerfully. The older girl forced a smile on her face. “Thank you,” she said. As her little sister left the girl opened the letter and read three words: Find. The. Cure. # Genevieve was going to the castle. She was sure that was where the letter ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 10:40, December 7th, 2012 under Blog, Writing and Editing | 1 Comment »

Free Novel Saturday: Star Song, Chapter 1

 With this post I'm starting something new: a free, full novel, which I'll offer one chapter at a time, every Saturday. The novel is Star Song, a young adult science fiction novel that was the first thing I seriously tried to sell (which is why astute readers will find echoes of Heinlein in here, and more than a soupcon of Andre Norton)...and came oh-so-close. Back then it was called The Minstrel, the same as the short story (which I posted a while ago) which is the first version of the tale. In the early '90s, the late Josepha Sherman was editing ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 10:08, December 8th, 2012 under Blog, Books, Writing and Editing | Comment now »

Pondering perfection in an imperfect post

Here’s a rather metaphysical question for you: why do we strive for perfection? Cold logic tells us that perfection is impossible. As a writer, I know perfectly (sorry) well that I will never in my life write something perfect. In fact, I know logically that it’s impossible to even define what a perfect piece of writing would look like, because there are always multiple ways to write anything, from a simple action to a complex character’s internal monologue, and you can never be certain there might not have been another way to do it that would be better than the way you chose: another way that’s a little bit closer to ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 10:12, December 12th, 2012 under Blog, Writing and Editing | 2 Comments »