August 6th, 2010

golden gate bridge

These things take time

Oops, missed some days again. I blame the weather. (I'm blaming the weather for everything right now, though. I should not be wanting a scarf in August.) May catch up later in the weekend. For now...

23. How long does it usually take you to complete an entire story—from planning to writing to posting (if you post your work)?

This varies so widely that it's really hard to make any kind of definitive statement about it. It depends on so many factors: If a story is for an exchange, or I'm otherwise on a deadline, that will speed up the process a lot; with sufficient motivation, I can write a short story in a week or even less. Sometimes a fit of inspiration will do that, too, but if I don't have any kind of external pressure, it usually takes much longer. Often months, sometimes years ("Aftermath" being the most obvious example of the latter). But when I say a story has taken me months or years to write, rarely am I working on that story non-stop -- I'll start it, make some progress, set it aside, work on other things, go through a slump, ignore it for awhile, perhaps even forget that exists. Usually, in the end, I'll pick it back up for some reason and then finish it in a rush. I am not particularly fond of this pattern, however, because it means that stories moulder in my WIP file for far too long. There are gems in there that have never seen the light of day, and may never do so. Finishing up these kinds of WIPs has been one of my goals for this year of writing; more importantly, I've been trying to force myself to work on stories in progress rather than setting them aside when I get bored/frustrated/distracted so that they don't get relegated to that WIP file in the first place. I haven't always been successful, but I think I've done better than the last couple of years at least.

30 Days of Writing: Complete list of questions

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quote - B5 avalanche

Just the facts

Two on the Proposition 8 decision. First, a "quick and easy summary", written in plain English, about the basis of the decision. It's probably the simplest explanation I've seen, good for passing on to people who don't know much about the issue.

For more detailed analysis, including lots of great quotes, I direct you to this Open Left article, "The Facts vs. The Fears", goes into a lot more detail about how Judge Walker used findings of fact to make his decisions: the fact that children do perfectly well with same-sex parents, the fact that gay people are oppressed in our society, the fact that legal marriage has nothing to do with promoting procreation. The plaintiffs won because they proved these facts; the proponents lost because they proved no facts whatsoever. They appealed to emotion rather than logic, and while emotion can win elections, it doesn't usually win court cases.

But win an election, they did, and the article draws a great comparison between the court decision and a report on why Proposition 8 passed in the first place. I haven't read that whole report yet, but the upshot, appears to be that Prop 8 won because its advocates made a strong appeal to fear in the final weeks of the campaign, thereby peeling away moderates who might otherwise have voted against it. All the snippets I've read are fascinating, so I do want to sit down and read it all eventually.

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