Now who could this mysterious young person be? Art by S.A. Hannon.
I was going to write about SF clichés next, but it occurred to me that since Ruth and I write as a team, and that’s the exception rather than the rule, it might be worth musing a bit on what team writing is like. When I was little I wanted to be a writer (well, also a ballerina, and a car mechanic, and the President, but that’s a different story) so I got books from the library about how to write. This was before the existence of advice on the Internet. Most of the Internet advice for writers that I’ve come across pretty much amounts to the same thing as those books anyway—write, and keep writing, and read stuff by good writers, and revise, revise, revise. But the one thing that always got me down from those books was the assurance that writing was a lonely craft. “You must sit at your desk alone, and work. You must do this every day, alone. Did we mention ALONE? No one can help you.” This advice made me a little sad—because of course I believed it, it was written in a book—but since I was a solitary sort of person anyway and I really wanted to be a writer, I didn’t let it stop me. (more…)