#WriterLifeMonth Day 18: Research.

Preferably none. I keep it to a minimum. If a project looks like it will require too much research, I either alter it, or ditch it. I tend to bury myself in research and then not write. So the less I have to do, the better.

You want an example of how intensive I got with my research? Let’s just say more than 20, 20 plus page scholarly articles on the bronze age once sat on my kitchen table. It also got to the point where I could write sentences in Proto-Celtic.

Honestly, that is cool, but it also took a lot of time away from writing my actual story.

Plus, no-one speaks Proto-Celtic.

Day 19: Crit partners.

None to five, depending on the project. I honestly outgrew a lot of my past crit partners, and a lot of my past writers’ groups. I love discussing stories and elements of the craft with people, sure. I also love discussing literature. But I am not keen on exchanging drafts and doing constructive criticism.

Most of my stories do not go past a crit partner before I submit them to magazines. If I do send something to crit partners, I select those crit partners carefully to see the range of reactions on a piece, and, for them to help me find things I missed or didn’t do well on.

This system works for me. In the past I used to let constructive criticism bamboozle me. That is, I would try to listen to all that feedback, and then get lost, and not finish what I was working on. I’ve found I work better without a crit partner, or, a few people who I trust, than with a workshop setting or writer’s group.

Day 20: Fave chapter ending.

Hell if I know. I am just a fan of traditional scene structure, which means there’s a climax and denouement. If I’m honest, I write killer denouements, which is probably why I always enjoy writing the closing moments of a scene or story.

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