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In The Zone - The War Whisperer

May 22, 2014

Tags: Getting Started

5/22/2014 It has been a long time coming, but the writing of The War Whisperer has gotten under way. When I write a novel, there is a period of groping around, doubt, a generally foggy conception of where I might like to see the story go and accomplish. This is especially true with this work because it jumps into a pool in which I have avoided swimming up until now: The background is politics, "libertarian" theories, and changing a world that has been fairly resistant to altering its downward spiral into unworkable economics and necessarily broken promises. Stories are about people, and the storyteller's job (at least, this story teller's) is to write down what the people in the story do without sticking the storyteller's own politics in the reader's face. Something new for me requires growth, growth requires change, and the acid-stomach doubts generated by the beginnings of such an enterprise is what I least like about the writing process. Once I get going, though, it is the best part.

The story is still about people, probably more here than in any other thing I have written. No speeches, no theorizing, no didactic book pounding. It's a story quite familiar to those who read a lot, and especially to those who write: There are characters who have goals. There are almost overwhelming obstacles in the path of achieving those goals. And do they overcome the obstacles and achieve their goals? Well, I haven't gotten that far into it yet. You see, I've just gotten around to turning my story over to the characters in it, my role being to observe and write down what the characters say and do. This is the trip, the absolute ecstasy, of writing for me.

Stay tuned.

Comments

  1. June 1, 2014 12:10 PM EDT
    Barry, your description of how The War Whisperer comes into being provides a great insight into the process of fiction writing, at least in your world. I'm sure it is a comfort to many other writers, new and experienced, to hear that they are not alone in their struggles and joys as a novel condenses out of the ether. BTW, Mo Tzu is an interesting character of Chinese history...
    - Anonymous
Catching the big ones.


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Barry B. Longyear is the first writer to win the Hugo, Nebula, and John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer all in the same year. In addition to his acclaimed Enemy Mine Series, his works include the Circus World and Infinity Hold series, Sea of Glass, other SF & fantasy novels, recovery and writing instruction works, and numerous short stories.