main
side
curve
  1. Welcome to the new boards! Details here!

  2. Our celebration of the 20 Years of the Jedi Council is over!

    Here's to 20 more years!

  3. Our celebration of the 20 Years of the Jedi Council is over!

    Here's to 20 more!

A&A The Official Matthew Woodring Stover Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Literature' started by The Gatherer, Feb 21, 2002.

  1. dp4m

    dp4m Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Nov 8, 2001
    Dammit!

    Just when I had started to give Del Rey/Lucasbooks more credit for the amount of planning they had apparently been doing you contradict that with luck!

    :>p
     
  2. Zandoran_Celix

    Zandoran_Celix Jedi Knight star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 16, 2005
    Mr. Stover.

    I'm an aspiring novelist and I was wondering what kind of Work Schedule you put yourself on to get a book written? and also, what kind of things do you use for inspiration as well as a way to make sure you don't deviat from writing the book and doing something else?

    See, I have ADHD and focus can be a problem with me. I figured that since your one of my favorite authors, perhaps something you do for focus might help me too.

    One of your many fans,

    JCG
     
  3. MWStover

    MWStover - Traitor - Shatterpoint - ROTS - LSatSoM star 3 VIP

    Registered:
    Jan 17, 2002
    Y'know, I grew up before ADD was a clinical diagnosis, but looking through the symptoms it's pretty clear that I suffered from it, and do to this day (though without the hyperactivity side . . . when I can't get focused on what I'm doing, I don't wander off, I fall asleep). This is not, by the way, just my opinion . . . my doctors think so, too.

    The thing about ADD types is that we can't focus on things that don't engage our passionate attention; I've read that ADD is suspected to be a hard-wired evolutionary survival of our uncivilzed past -- our brains dismiss and disregard things that aren't important to our immediate needs and/or wants. Conversely, however, ADD types have the ability to to take those things that do engage our passionate interest and concentrate on them to the exclusion of nearly all else; we are hard-wired to block out non-essential distractions. It's what made me, for example, a pretty good actor -- when I was on stage, I never had to struggle with Real Life (non-character) thoughts and problems. I was always Right There.

    So, here's the thing: schedules are all well and good -- I try to write first thing in the morning, before the day itself develops any emergencies that requirte my attention -- but they're not the main thing.

    The main thing is to pick a story that's so exciting to you that you can't stand to do anything else but work on it. You find the right story, and everything else will fall into place.

    I, for example, enjoyed writing, before I turned pro . . . because I never had to work on anything that didn't Thrill My Butt Off. Now, writing is a daily struggle, because I've made commitments to produce work that doesn't inherently blow me away -- so I have to find ways to make it as interesting and entertaining as possible (for myself, get it?), because failing that, no power on Earth (or the GFFA) is great enough to make me actually work on something.

    Pick the right project, and the rest will take care of itself.

    Hope this helps.
     
    Immortiss likes this.
  4. Zandoran_Celix

    Zandoran_Celix Jedi Knight star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 16, 2005
    Thank You Mr. Stover.

    Actually that has helped. I actually have a project I started years ago and have, every chance I got, worked on it as a past time passion. The story I am currently working on is something I want to do, but I haven't truly worked it into the way I want it. But my Fantasy project has taken a life of its own.

    Thank You again. Perhaps I'll switch gears and work more on the project I have loved since high School.
     
  5. MWStover

    MWStover - Traitor - Shatterpoint - ROTS - LSatSoM star 3 VIP

    Registered:
    Jan 17, 2002
    I started writing the first version of the book that eventually became Heroes Die when I was seventeen years old. I finally sold it (as my third novel) when I was thirty-six.

    To paraphrase for the PG-13 crowd:

    Never surrender.
     
    Immortiss likes this.
  6. Zandoran_Celix

    Zandoran_Celix Jedi Knight star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 16, 2005
    I do not intend to surrender. Its kinda of funny though, that I was seventeen too when I began my Fantasy Project. I'm currently 21 and it is taking new and great shapes everytime I stop and look.

    Also, and tell me once I become annoying from asking questions, but if I ever do find I have a finished product, where should I go or what should I do to gt it published. Do I go to NY, or LA or something and try to find a publisher? Do I email publishing companies and submit my work?

     
  7. Xal

    Xal Jedi Youngling star 1

    Registered:
    Mar 12, 2006
    Hey, Mr. Stover, can you teach me how to write like you? Your "The dark is generous" passage of ROTS was fantastic. How long did it take you to come up with the entire thing? I'm going to make something like that someday! I have to.
     
  8. DarthBreezy

    DarthBreezy Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 4, 2002
    Mr. Stover - wouldn't you tell the poster above me to 'write write write' and find his own voice?

    Also, I'm very curious to know what you think about 'fan fiction'? (Here at TF.N alone there are four separate boards worth! Prolific bunch we are! :p )

    Some people write fan fic as a 'jumping off point' to learn the craft, hoping to move on to more 'original fiction', some people (myself included) write because we simply have a story to tell. Personally, I like to think I've really grown as a writer (compared to my first staggering efforts, it's like going from learning the alphabet to long hand script - it may not be literary Mozart, but it's gone beyond 'my sumer vakation' :p) due to 'playing' with fan fiction.

    So, I wonder if you find it... 'offensive' as some writers do, or complimentary, or somewhere in between and left of center?
     
  9. Zandoran_Celix

    Zandoran_Celix Jedi Knight star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 16, 2005
    Thank You! I wanted to say that earlier but thought it would be quite rude.
     
  10. DarthBreezy

    DarthBreezy Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 4, 2002
    I was hoping (and still do) that it's not taken the wrong way - I mean, every author I've ever 'heard' speak on the subject (via their books) says the same thing (I especially reccomend Stephen King's On Writing where he addresses the topic at leangth.)

    Also, look above at what Mr. Stover said...



    (Though I'd love to know what he would have said for us 'Well beyond the days of PG-13'! :p )

     
  11. Zandoran_Celix

    Zandoran_Celix Jedi Knight star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 16, 2005
    We could PM him and see. I'm taking that motto to heart. Its what I'm going to live by now. Surrender is no longer an option in my life.

     
  12. JadeSolo

    JadeSolo Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 20, 2002
    "Never ******* surrender," maybe? Sounds like something Caine would say. :p I think he did, actually...

    For me, the best part about reading these books is that I feel smarter after finishing them. Not a lot of stories do that nowadays.
     
  13. Whizkid

    Whizkid Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 11, 2003
    Wow, thats pretty inspirational (and I have no intention of even being an author)!
     
  14. PadmeA_Panties

    PadmeA_Panties Jedi Youngling star 4

    Registered:
    Oct 25, 2003
    Any writing techniques you employ Mr. Stover?
     
  15. PadmeA_Panties

    PadmeA_Panties Jedi Youngling star 4

    Registered:
    Oct 25, 2003
    To add another question Mr. Stover:

    Would you recommend any of those "How to Write" books?

    I've noticed in Borders books like:

    "How to Write to get Published"
    "How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy"
    "No Plot? No Problem!"

    And all other kinds of books similar to those.

    Do you recommend any?
     
  16. DurronFan

    DurronFan Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 25, 2005
    What contemporary literature do you like reading, Mr. Stover? Do you have any favorite authors and do they affect/influence the way or what you write?
     
  17. MWStover

    MWStover - Traitor - Shatterpoint - ROTS - LSatSoM star 3 VIP

    Registered:
    Jan 17, 2002
    Hiya.

    There are three books on writing that are, in my opinion, worth reading (and believing):

    Writing to Sell by R. Scott Meredith

    The Art of Fiction by John Gardner

    Zen and the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury


    There are no writing techniques I employ, beyond attempting to be unambiguously clear and direct, and as concise as possible; I don't believe in pussyfooting around. And I try to avoid simile as much as possible. I much prefer to describe something in terms of what it is, rather than what it's like.

    For contemporary writers, I'm still a big fan of Stephen Donaldson. I like Greg Keyes. I can read George RR Martin with some enjoyment, if I try. Bradbury is high on my list. I like Harlan Ellison, though I prefer his earlier work. Tony Daniel's first novel was great. Scott Lynch's first novel is great. Graham Joyce is very, very good. There's an up'n'coming short-form guy named Bob Urell who I think is terrific.

    Outside the genre, I like Alan Moore and Grant Morrison and Frank Miller (okay, they're only semi-outside). I like Russell Banks, Norman Mailer, Tom Wolfe's non-fiction, John Keegan, Robert Hughes, Frank Rich, Seymour Hersh, James Gleik and a variety of others; I don't read a whole lot of contemporary fiction, preferring to spend my time on books that have been in print a minimum of thirty years. When I'm reading current writers, they're usually non-fiction: science or philosophy, or history (which is, after all, a branch of philosophy).

    I don't spend nearly enough time reading. I had some medication trouble that left me with blurred vision for about two years, but that's over with now. Now I just need some free time.
     
    Immortiss likes this.
  18. wild_karrde

    wild_karrde Jedi Grand Master star 7

    Registered:
    Oct 8, 1999

    No kidding! When I read HD for the first time and got to the part where it describes Caine decapitating the guy with a knife I literally said out loud "Holy $#!+, there's something you don't read every day!" And of course I was hooked from that moment on.
     
  19. DurronFan

    DurronFan Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 25, 2005
    I like reading Anne Rice and John Le Carré. Have you read any of their works? If so, what's your opinion on their writing? Be as blunt as you feel necessary, I won't be offended.

    I'll have to see if I can take the time into reading the books you mentioned. I'm not exactly a fast reader nor a book-maniac.

    Thank you for answering!
     
  20. ezekiel22x

    ezekiel22x Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Aug 9, 2002
    Matt,

    I?m not sure how in-depth you can go with the whole confidentiality thing still in effect, but if you can clear something up I would really appreciate it. Exactly how involved was Lucas as far as editing the Sith novelization went? I?m pretty sure you?ve said in the past that he did personally line-edit the thing, but recently I?ve come across some comments that claim you later amended that statement to say those words were taken out of context.

    Thanks in advance for any insight you can provide (on the other hand, if you want to ignore this query in favor of working on Caine Black Knife, then that is perfectly fine by me.)
     
  21. MWStover

    MWStover - Traitor - Shatterpoint - ROTS - LSatSoM star 3 VIP

    Registered:
    Jan 17, 2002
    Piffle.

    Anyone who claims I amended that statement is either 1) lying, or 2) deceived by liars. Though I did not personally watch him do it, I received from LFL a Word document of Revenge of the Sith with Mr Lucas' edits, which was distinct from the edits I'd already gotten from Sue Rostoni and Howard Roffman and the rest of the LFL crew, and this document was edited in such a detailed fashion that even individual words had been struck off and his preferred replacements inserted, as well as some passages wholly excised and some dialogue replaced with the dialogue from the screenplay. If that's not line-editing, I don't know what is.

    What's in that book is there because Mr. Lucas wanted it to be there. What's not in that book is not there because Mr. Lucas wanted it gone.

    Period.
     
    xezene, cwustudent and Immortiss like this.
  22. ezekiel22x

    ezekiel22x Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Aug 9, 2002
    Much appreciated, sir.
     
  23. DARTH_MARK-22

    DARTH_MARK-22 Jedi Youngling star 3

    Registered:
    Mar 11, 2003
    That's awesome. I actually have Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury!!
     
  24. PadmeA_Panties

    PadmeA_Panties Jedi Youngling star 4

    Registered:
    Oct 25, 2003
    Can we get an update on the word-count of CBK?
     
  25. PadmeA_Panties

    PadmeA_Panties Jedi Youngling star 4

    Registered:
    Oct 25, 2003
    ....any updates at all?