Tag Archives: change

Authors Answer 150 – Creative Evolution

Writing is a skill that changes over time. The more an author writes, the better they become at their craft. Reading our first stories remind us how far we’ve come. And quite often we cringe and hide that story so no one can see it. This time, we’re talking about how we’ve changed over the course of our writing careers.

Question 150 – How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

H. Anthe Davis

I think I’ve most evolved in my editing skill — my ability to detect bad material and fix it. I’ve also loosened up a bit in my textual diction and am slowly figuring out how to not torture the English language, as I was critiqued once. I used to use more complex constructions and more high-falutin’ words in places where they weren’t necessary, or were in fact counter-productive to the flow and tone of the narrative. I’m trying to relax that, and clean up some of my descriptions and metaphysical concepts so it doesn’t take ten re-reads to figure them out. Clarity and precision are key.

Tracey Lynn Tobin

Creatively? I think I can definitely say that over time I’ve expanded a great deal concerning the type of fiction I’ll write. Growing up, and as a young adult (not that I’m particularly old now), I would pretty much only write fantasy-type stories. Even concerning fanfiction, I stuck to things like Harry Potter and that novelization of Final Fantasy 3 that I never did finish (*cough cough*). As time went on, though, I began delving into genres I never really thought I’d be any good at – such as horror – and I loved it. These days, while I do definitely still focus on fantasy, horror, and supernatural themes, I’m a lot more open with what I’ll try. I haven’t shared much of it, but I’ve written lots of different genres now, from alternate history, to sci-fi, to erotica, and I think being able to do that really exercises the mind creatively, even if you know that you might never publish those pieces.

Jean Davis

When I first started writing seriously, it took me much longer, like years, to finish a first draft. Now that I’ve been at this for twelve years, I’ve managed to wrap up a full first draft in a matter of months. I’d like to think my voice is stronger, that I’ve got a better grasp of what works and what doesn’t, and that I now know when to abandon a project and when to slog my way through it.

Eric Wood

My writing has evolved slowly and quietly over the years. Where I once wrote straight forward without inferences, I now include hidden, deeper meanings. Where once all my characters were the same (basically, me) now are diverse and unique. Also, my stories have developed a complexity they didn’t have before.

Gregory S. Close

Over the years I’ve increasingly recognized the importance of craft in writing, rather than relying purely on talent. A natural talent for writing/story-telling is important, but it’s equally vital to have the tools to hone that talent. You can only be as talented as you, that’s a set value – but you can always improve your craft with hard work.

Cyrus Keith

If anything, I believe I’ve grown to be more careful in writing technique, using literary tools more easily. I pay attention to repetition, excessive speech tags, adverb usage, tension, characterization, and a host of other details that I always took for granted before. I think with every novel I complete, I become a better writer, more able to wield these tools with ease. I also think I’ve become more humble, through the many rejections that still come my way.

Paul B. Spence

I began as a sort protoplasmic ooze with single storylines but quickly became multi-linear. I suppose it might have been radiation, or that big black monolith thing in my back yard…

D. T. Nova

I’ve become more aware of my influences, and consequently become more likely to get a little meta.

I’d also like to think I’ve gotten better at writing things that work on multiple levels.

Jay Dee Archer

In the early days of my writing, I had fairly straightforward stories with a rather awkward way of narrating. I really don’t want to read what I wrote back then. My stories have added many layers. There are multiple storylines now. And I think I narrate far better. Word choice, avoiding repetition in speech tags, and a strong desire to avoid infodumps. But I also think that the eleven years that I spent teaching English have improved my grasp of the English language. I pay close attention to the grammar I’m using, though I think I may do that too much. I get hung up over a sentence, when I should just continue writing and worry about the structure later when I’m editing it. There’s always room for improvement!

How about you?

If you’re an author, how have you changed creatively over the years? Let us know in the comments section below.

A Completely Impulsive Change

After much thought tonight, and a sudden realisation, I’m completely changing something. You see, I’m quitting vlogging.

But, hold on! What exactly do I mean by this? Well, you know about my vlog channel, right? I haven’t posted any videos on it in a couple weeks. I’ve come to a realisation that the daily vlogging thing wasn’t something I wanted to continue much longer. Everyday life isn’t interesting enough for it. I need topics or stories to be able to continue.

My main channel, where I do videos about books, Japan, and Star Trek continues on as usual, of course. I’ll be adding the occasional vlog on that channel, though. When I go on vacation, I’ll put travel videos on there, as well. The title is Jay Dee’s Journeys after all. But it’ll primarily be about books and writing.

So, what am I doing with my vlog channel? It’ll get a new name and a totally new focus. You see, I’m not going to start a new science channel, as I said before. I’m going to change this channel into a science channel. I have few subscribers, so it won’t affect a lot of people. The existing videos will go private. I won’t delete them, but I’ll keep them there and if I get back into vlogging, I’ll re-upload them on a new channel.

I’ll be doing a video on my vlog channel explaining all of this. If you want to get ahead of the game and subscribe to it for the science, then I definitely invite you to do so!

A Feeling of Change

Today has been a day of change. Yesterday, I wasn’t feeling very good. I was feeling like I was at a low, one of my lowest days in a very long time. But a couple things happened today that have changed all of that.

I’m not going into one of them, because it’s not guaranteed 100%, and I don’t want to talk about it publicly, anyway. The other thing, I will definitely talk about.

You see, I did something I’ve never done. It’s part of the daily vlog that I started. I spent some time outside making a video. If anyone watched me, they’d probably wonder what the hell I was doing. I mean, it looked extremely silly. I’m going to be posting the video tomorrow, and I’m almost afraid of it making me look like an idiot, but it’s meant to look like I’m failing at things. If you’re curious, subscribe to my vlog channel. I’ll also post the video here, in case you don’t want to subscribe. Either way, look for it tomorrow!

But really, the most exciting change is something I’m not telling you. But I might say something about it in a week.

Science Sunday – Ancient Languages

A little different this week. This is not new news, but something I saw tonight, and I thought it would be interesting to share. While this isn’t exactly a hard science, the evolution of language is an interesting field of study.

First of all, check out this page, which has a video which shows how written language spread.

And then, watch this video. Make sure you have sound turned on. It’s absolutely fascinating listening to what ancient languages may have sounded like.

What did you think? Any comments are always welcome.

Does Anyone Still Use a…

256px-BreadboxI thought came to my mind, as many thoughts do. Does anyone still use a breadbox? And that just brought up more questions.

Does anyone still play the old Nintendo?

Does anyone still use the old cell phones without a big colour screen? And for that matter, does anyone still use a rotary phone?

Does anyone still use a black and white TV?

Does anyone still use Mapquest? Sure, it exists, and it’s been modernised, but really, does anyone even bother using it?

Does anyone still pronounce “gif” with a hard g, now that we know it’s supposed to be a soft g?

Does anyone still try to use the Mid-Atlantic accent? Don’t know what that is? It was used on TV in the early to mid twentieth century.

Does anyone still use MD players in Japan?

Does anyone still watch laserdiscs?

Does anyone still use Windows 95? Windows 3.1? Oh hell, does anyone admit to still using Windows Vista and liking it?

Can you personally answer these questions with a yes? Can you add more questions? I look forward to what you have to say in the comments.

Accidental Genre Change

Have you ever planned a book or several books, and everything is going smoothly, and everything is falling into place, and then something happens that takes you by complete surprise? That just happened to me.

You see, the entire Ariadne series of books I plan to write are science fiction. Everything is advanced with high technology. At the moment, I have six books ranging from rough outlines to ideas. I’ve known what’s going to happen for a long time, and I’ve always thought this is sci-fi. But you know what? I came to a realisation the other day. The genre may actually change!

I never really thought about the genre changing, but it appears it may do just that. The genre? Well, without giving away too much, it’ll still be science fiction, but with a somewhat steampunkish feeling. Sort of. But this remains to be seen. It may turn out completely different than that.

Which makes me wonder, have you ever read a series that seemed to change genre? Let me know in the comments.

Election Day Is Monday – Vote!

The day to vote is coming soon. It’s on Monday, October 19th. I can’t vote because the Canadian government is now enforcing a law that states that expats who have lived outside of Canada for more than five years cannot vote. So, my voice is silent in the polls. However, I can encourage others to vote.

So, that’s what I’m doing. Don’t be one of those people who says your vote doesn’t count. It does. Because in the last election, more than half of eligible voters did not vote. If those people had voted, the outcome could’ve been completely different. Combined, all those missing votes could have made a huge impact.

So go and vote!

The Evolution of Technology

Today, we were at The Railway Museum in Saitama, a place I’d wanted to go to for years. Finally, I went there. It was pretty interesting, and I could have spent a lot more time there looking around. What’s interesting is seeing how the trains changed over time. Old trains are fascinating, but so are newer ones.

One area showed the development of the Shinkansen (bullet train) over time. You could see how the speed of the train got faster over the years, as well as how the design became more aerodynamic. The technology kept improving.

I’m always interested in how technology evolves. I’ll be looking at space probes when I go through them for Quick Facts, though this will mostly look at the discoveries and science done. However, I want to look at specific advances in technology over time for individual technologies. For example, I’d like to look at how computers have changed, or how bicycles have changed, or how telephones have changed. I want to write about the various stages and provide examples. I think it’ll be interesting. It also makes me wonder about the future.

What do you think? Are you interested in how technology changes?

My Last Six Months in Japan

It’s September 30. It’s exactly six months until we leave Japan and go to Canada. I’ve been in Japan for more than ten years. And soon, it’s coming to an end.

How do you think I feel? Can you imagine what it’s like to leave a country you’ve lived in for more than a decade and return to your home country? I’m still trying to figure out my feelings. They’re totally mixed. I will miss a lot, I have some regrets, but it will be great to see my family again. I’ll have to adapt to life in Canada again. That might not be so easy. But we’ll see.

I’ll be posting a video about this later on. I talk about my biggest regret and what my plans are. So, check back later.

Anticipating Reverse Culture Shock

When you move to another country, you most likely go through a period called culture shock. It’s characterised by a feeling of paranoia, depression, and an intense homesickness. You don’t want to go out, you don’t want to talk to anyone, and you think everyone is talking about you. I went through it. It only lasted a few days, but it was an unpleasant time.

That was when I came to Japan. Now that I’ve been here for more than ten years, I don’t get that feeling at all. Japan is home, and I feel comfortable here. Part of me doesn’t want to leave. I know I’ll be back many times on vacation. If I could make a good career at writing, it’s possible we could stay the entire summer in Japan. But that remains to be seen.

Going to Canada, I’m going to be experiencing another bout of culture shock, or rather reverse culture shock. In a way, Canada is now the foreign culture to me. I’m so used to being around Japanese people, using Japanese public transportation, and going shopping where everyone is Japanese. I can imagine what will surprise me in Canada.

What I will be happy to see in Canada

  • Food! Of course, this is a big one. Specifically, bacon (crispy in Canada), variety of cheese, Chinese food, Panago, Arby’s, Harvey’s, etc.
  • Family. I can’t wait to introduce my daughter and wife to everyone.
  • Driving. I drive in Japan, but the narrow streets can be a challenge. Also, so many people stop on the side of the road blocking an entire lane of traffic. And everyone backs into parking spaces.
  • Hockey. I really want to watch some Oilers games.
  • Skating. Surprisingly, I’ve gone skating more in Japan than I have since high school in Canada. But it’ll be nice to have a free option in Canada.
  • Free health care and education.
  • The scenery. Can’t wait to see the Rockies.

What I need to adjust to in Canada

  • The Japanese food. It’s so good in Japan. I’m used to the real thing. Sushi will be somewhat less appealing. There’s a lack of gyudon, the ramen isn’t the same, and several other things. The bright spot is Tomo Izakaya. Must eat there!
  • Winter. Snow. Having lived in a place that doesn’t get a proper winter, I’m not used to the frigid temperatures that Canada gets.
  • Transportation. It’s so fast and convenient in Japan. The train system is amazing. I wish Edmonton had that.
  • History. Edmonton is a new city, so it doesn’t have the kind of historical sites that Japan has. I live in an area that is so full of history, I can explore here for my entire life and not see everything. I can probably see everything in Edmonton in a week.
  • The scenery. Flat.  It’s all flat. In Japan, I have a nice view of the mountains, including Mt. Fuji.
  • Lack of ocean. I love living near the ocean. Edmonton doesn’t have that at all.
  • Customer service. It’s amazing in Japan. They always welcome the customer, and are polite without fail. In Canada, it’s hit and miss.
  • Cell phones. The cell phone plans in Canada are ridiculously expensive. I like my unlimited calling, unlimited data plan here in Japan with no roaming charges. I can go anywhere in Japan and pay exactly the same thing.
  • Convenience stores. They’re convenient in Japan. Not convenient in Canada. You have to drive to get to one!
  • Work. I think this may be the most difficult thing. I’ve been doing the same job for more than ten years. I have to change. This will not be easy.

Anyone go through reverse culture shock? Let me know how you fared.