Fantasy author Jane Lindskold has published more than 20 books and dozens of short stories. In her book Writing Tips Take a walkThey cover topics such as doing research, not limiting yourself to certain topics, and scheduling your work time.
“This book is, in many ways, my reaction to the many, many books on writing that promise—it doesn’t hint at it, it exceeds the promise—“Read my book, follow my footsteps, and you will be a bestseller,” and this is for I really betrayed, because that won’t happen,” Lindskold said in episode 471 of A geek’s guide to the galaxy Audio notation. “There is no golden key, there is no single answer, but you can find the answers that are right for you, that work for you, and that in turn will make you become the writer you want to be.”
One memorable section of the book deals with the relationships between writers and non-writers, a topic rarely explored in writing-related books. “I am a writer and I lived with a writer, Roger Zelazny, so I know very well that living with a writer is kind of a strange experience,” says Lindskold. “This person is totally devoted to spending a lot of time alone, digging around where you can’t go until they let you, which includes non-existent people, into places that aren’t exist, and yet they are the people and places that are most important to them, at that specific moment.”
Many relationships with writers suffer because the writer expects their partner to read and appreciate their work. Lindskold thinks this kind of so-called behavior is a big mistake. “If they were living with a senior accountant who spent the whole day putting together a really complicated incorporation agreement, would they then expect that person to go ahead and read the incorporation agreement?” Says.
Another major source of friction is that writers get upset when their partner interrupts their thinking path. Lindskold’s system is always to connect with her husband Jim when she’s thinking of a story. “I felt I owed him permission to ‘Yeah, you can bother me now, I’m just sitting here playing solitaire’ or ‘Please don’t bother me.'” I’m playing solitaire because I’m trying to find a really complicated plot point. “How can the devil know the difference if I don’t tell him?”
Listen to the full interview with Jane Lindskold on episode 471 of A geek’s guide to the galaxy (above), and check out some of the highlights from the discussion below.
Jane Lindskold for her short story “Relief”:
“Relief” appeared in Heaven sentEdited by Peter Crowther. I think this was one of the cool requests I saw in a trade magazine. They were looking for stories of angels, and the idea of ”relief” came to me. I had to be at the all-faculty meeting. I was a very junior professor, which meant that if I didn’t attend it would reflect badly on me, and if I attended, I wasn’t expected to do anything but be body warm. So I had my portfolio and I had a story idea, and I sat happily scribbling away from a very sad woman who was sincerely contemplating suicide. And I’m pretty sure no one in my department thought I was taking notes about the meeting.”
Jane Lindskold on RPGs:
“George RR Martin He was playing the role of an alien, “The Rock”. And I felt in my blood and bones that the rock was going to try to pull something. So I wrote a note to [Carl Keim] saying:[My character] He will consult with the medical department and find some non-hazardous but traceable items on the rock which will be put into the rock food, because I want to be able to trace the rock. …and when, in a scenario or later, the rock fell to the side of the planets and split apart, ready to do whatever outrageous thing I had in mind, I looked at Carl and said, “I turn on the scanners and follow him.” And George was like, You can’t! I’m in a lot of little pieces! Karl simply handed him the letter, and George looked at me and said, “You didn’t!”
Jane Lindskold on Roger Zelazny:
“He loved talking about writing in the abstract, but he didn’t do something like pick up one of my stories and say, ‘You know, if you edit in this way and that way, it’s probably going to sell better.'” It let me know what my vote would be on my own. …I’ve never seen him get more irritated than when I gave a cold story to an anthology, and the anthology editor called and said, “Roger’s name would sell much better, if you put Roger’s name on it. Or put it as a collaborator. Or he could write two paragraphs, that way he’d be Really cooperation. I’ve never seen him more angry before. This person never realized how much he hurt himself in appreciating it.”
Jane Lindskold on archeology:
“There was a case where a flash flood in Arroyo swept an area under some tree roots and exposed a skeleton, and local law enforcement learned that Jim and his crew were working in the area, and they came and said, ‘Can you give your opinion on the age of this particular thing. Do we need to start looking for a killer or not? Jim was with an archaeological orthopedist with him at those digs, and they came out and looked at him, and said, “No, that’s really old.” But then there was a time when Jim was lounging at his house one evening – this was before we got together – and there was a knock on his door. One of his friends, who was hiking in an area outside Albuquerque, came across a skull that looked a bit funny to him, and he brought it to Jim and said, “Old or new?” Jim said, ‘That still has my bone fat in it.’ It’s new. Call the police.'”