Some Practical Tips for Living With a Writer


Fantasy author Jane Lindskold has published more than 20 books and dozens of short stories. In his book of writing tips Walk on the Scriptures, covers topics such as doing research, not restricting yourself to certain topics, and planning your work time.

“This book, in many ways, is my reaction to the numerous books in writing that are out there that promise – don’t insinuate, promise plainly -‘ Read my book, follow in my footsteps, and you’ll be a bestseller, ’and for me it’s a real betrayal, because it’s not just going to happen, ”Lindskold says in Episode 471 of the Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast. “There’s no golden key, there’s no answer, but you can find out what the answers are for you, what suits you, and what, in turn, will make you become the writer you want to be.”

A memorable section of the book deals with the relationships between writers and non-writers, a subject that is rarely explored in writing books. “I’m a writer, and I lived with a writer, Roger Zelazny, so I know perfectly well that living with a writer is a kind of strange experience, “says Lindskold.” This person is completely devoted to spending a lot of time alone, guessing in a place you can’t go until you leave, which involves people who don’t exist, in places that don’t exist, yet they are the people and places most important to them, at this given moment. ”

Many relationships with writers suffer because of the writer’s expectation that his or her partner will read and appreciate his or her work. Lindskold believes that this kind of titled attitude is a big mistake. “If they were living with a senior accountant who spent all day implementing a really complicated incorporation agreement, would they expect that person to go ahead and read the incorporation agreement?” she says.

Another major source of friction is that writers get annoyed when their partner interrupts their thought train. Lindskold’s system is to always communicate with her husband Jim about when she thinks of a story. “I feel like I owe you the courtesy of‘ Yeah, you can bug me now, I’m just here to play solo ’or‘ Please don’t bother me. I play solitaire because I’m trying to solve this really elaborate plot point, “she says.” How the hell is he going to know the difference if I don’t tell him? “

Listen to the full interview with Jane Lindskold in Episode 471 of Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy (above), and check out some highlights from the discussion below.

Jane Lindskold on her “Relief” story:


“” Relief “appeared in The sky sent, edited by Peter Crowther. I think it was one of the coldest submissions I’ve ever seen in a business magazine. They were looking for angel stories, and I got the idea of ​​“Help”. He was to be at the meeting of all the teachers. I was a very junior teacher, which meant that if I didn’t present myself, it would reflect badly on me, and if I did present myself, I wouldn’t really expect to do anything but be a warm body. So I got my clipboard and I had an idea for a story, and I sat down happily writing about a desperately desperate woman who was sincerely contemplating suicide. And I’m absolutely sure no one in my department thought to take notes on the meeting. ”

Jane Lindskold on role-playing games:

George RR Martin he was playing an alien, “the Rock.” And I felt only in my blood and in my bones that the Rock was going to try to pull something off. So I wrote a note to [Carl Keim] saying:[My character] he has to consult with the medical department and find some element not dangerous for the rock but traceable that will be put in the food of the Rock, so I want to be able to follow the Rock. ‘… And when, a scenario later, the Rock went to the side of the planet and stared, preparing to do all the infamous things that were on my mind, I looked at Carl and I said,’ Turn on the scanners and the sequel. ” And George was like, “You can’t!” They are in too small pieces! And Carl handed him the note, and George just looked at me and said, “You don’t have it!”

Jane Lindskold on Roger Zelazny:

“He loved talking about writing in the abstract, but he never did anything like take one of my stories and say,‘ You know, if you modified it this way and that way, it would probably sell better. ’” He let me know what it would be like. my voice on my own …. I have never seen him more furious than the time he had presented a cold story to an anthology, and the editor of the anthology telephoned and said, ‘Roger’s name it would sell a lot better if I put Roger’s name in it. Or put it as a collaborator. Or I could write a couple of paragraphs, and so it would really be a collaboration. ’I’ve never seen him angry again. This person hasn’t he never understood how much they were hurt in his estimation with this. ”

Jane Lindskold on archeology:

“There was a case where there was a flash flood in a creek that had washed an area under the tree roots and exposed a skeleton, and local law enforcement knew Jim and his team were working. in the area, and they came over and said, ‘Can you give us your opinion on the age of this particular thing. Do we need to start looking for a killer or not?’ Jim had with him an archaeological osteologist in that excavation. , and they went to look, and they said, “No, this is really old.” But then there was the moment that Jim was relaxing at home one evening – this is before we got together – and there was a shot at He was one of his friends, who had gone for a walk, in an area outside Albuquerque, and he had encountered a skull that seemed a little amusing to him, and he brought it to Jim and said, “Old man or woman. new? “And Jim said, ‘This one still has bone fat. It’s new. Call the cops.'”

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