Thursday, December 16, 2010

Transcript: Science Fiction Fantasy Writer's Chat with Blake Charlton 12/16/10

3:10 amsffwrtcht:Okay, all, welcome to #sffwrtcht with @blakecharlton. Apologies for the change in date & tardy start but your host had a new job start 2day
3:11 amsffwrtcht:Tonight our guest is @blakecharlton, author of "Spellwright," "Spellbound" (forthcoming) and assundry stories and medical papers #sffwrtcht
3:11 amshadowflame1974:@BryanThomasS congratulations on the job! #sffwrtcht
3:12 amsffwrtcht:As usual, please limit questions to craft, Blake's work and life, and the business of writing. #sffwrtchtNot that Blake could buy stories
3:13 amblakecharlton:@sffwrtcht sure thing, happy to be here #sffwrtcht
3:13 amshadowflame1974:Come one, Come all! Ask @blakecharlton about writing, overcoming obstacles and how to balance med school and writing! on #sffwrtcht
3:14 amsffwrtcht:And how dsylexia has effected your life and writing #sffwrtcht
3:14 amblakecharlton:@sffwrtcht as one might expect it's played a defining role: it's lead me to both medicine & speculative fiction #sffwrtcht
3:17 amblakecharlton:@BryanThomasS i presented very early. in kindergarten i was failing developmental milestones & diagnosed in 1st grade. #sffwrtcht
3:17 amshadowflame1974:You had a great interview over at @inkpunks this week #sffwrtcht
3:18 amshadowflame1974:okay going to be doing a little pinch hitting here Blake #sffwrtcht
3:19 amsffwrtcht:What's dyslexia like for you? What does the page look like if you can describe it? #sffwrtcht
3:19 amblakecharlton:@shadowflame1974 thank you kindly! i very much enjoyed writing up that interview. Wendy's great! #sffwrtcht
3:20 amBryanThomasS:@blakecharlton What's dyslexia like for you? What does the page look like if you can describe it? #sffwrtcht
3:22 amblakecharlton:@BryanThomasS it's not terribly different from what other ppl experience. minor changes only, #sffwrtcht
3:23 amblakecharlton:@BryanThomasS i have trouble 'seeing' parts of illogically spelled words, or 'hear' the diff between homographs #sffwrtcht
3:23 amBryanThomasS:@blakecharlton When I picture that I have a hard time imagining how you can write or read, especially complicated texts #sffwrtcht
3:24 amshadowflame1974:so it is more directly linked to sounds than to symbols then? #sffwrtcht
3:24 amsffwrtcht:@blakecharlton Which means I admire you greatly for being so successful in spite of it #sffwrtcht
3:24 amBryanThomasS:@blakecharlton Which means I admire you greatly for being so successful in spite of it #sffwrtcht
3:25 amshadowflame1974:RT @BryanThomasS: @blakecharlton Which means I admire you greatly for being so successful in spite of it >> definitely! #sffwrtcht
3:25 ameruditeogre:@blakecharlton how did this linguistic challenge lead you to speculative fiction, and how do you think it influences your style? #sffwrtcht
3:25 amblakecharlton:@BryanThomasS it gets easier as i get older. "Neurodiverse" folks, esp. dyslexsics bc more neruotypical as they get older #sffwrtcht
3:26 amBryanThomasS:@blakecharlton Does that mean you might lose dyslexia by the time you'rre 65? #sffwrtcht
3:26 amblakecharlton:@eruditeogre i couldn't read at ate 13 but then i discovered classic epic fantasy books! i started sneaking them into special ed #sffwrtcht
3:27 amblakecharlton:@eruditeogre loved the books so much i finally learned how to read. #sffwrtcht
3:27 amBryanThomasS:@blakecharlton What were some of the first fantasy books you tackled? #sffwrtcht
3:28 amblakecharlton:@eruditeogre i'd say dyslexia makes me suspicious of language. words are slippery things! i try to write to be exact #sffwrtcht
3:28 ameruditeogre:@blakecharlton that's great to hear, that you were drawn to books despite the challenge presented. Or was it because of it? #sffwrtcht
3:28 amdilettante:@blakecharlton any plans for short stories set in the Spellwright world? #sffwrtcht
3:29 amblakecharlton:@eruditeogre my dad read them too me. less and less each night so i'd have to read more. tricky old man! #sffwrtcht
3:29 amsffwrtcht:@blakecharlton When and how did you decide you had to write? (or wanted to) #sffwrtcht
3:29 amblakecharlton:@dilettante :-) i've had a few offers to break out some of the stuff, but all the time i do have for writing i put toward book 3 #sffwrtcht
3:30 amblakecharlton:@dilettante want to get it to the fans ASAP! but maybe once it's gone to press... #sffwrtcht
3:30 amblakecharlton:@sffwrtcht I was always a story teller. i used to dictate stories to my sister. writing came much later for me...around 18 #sffwrtcht
3:31 amsffwrtcht:@blakecharlton Does anyone else in the family have dyslexia then? #sffwrtcht
3:32 amblakecharlton:@eruditeogre exactly! and all styles have weaknesses, i know i can get too wrapped up in being precises and explaining things #sffwrtcht
3:32 amblakecharlton:@sffwrtcht nope, just crumby spellers ;-) #sffwrtcht
3:32 ameruditeogre:@blakecharlton how did this profusion of orality, your dad reading to you and you dictating to your sister, shape your fiction? #sffwrtcht
3:33 amBryanThomasS:@blakecharlton LOL You're the special one. #sffwrtcht
3:34 amblakecharlton:@eruditeogre it was kinda a rebound onto the written word. Spellwright is obsessed with magic as written word, and as dangerous #sffwrtcht
3:34 amblakecharlton:@BryanThomasS story of my life ;-) #sffwrtcht
3:35 amBryanThomasS:@talekyn Cool. We're doing #sffwrtcht with Blake Charlton if you want to listen in
3:35 amshadowflame1974:so are the stories a kind of reflection of the challenges you went through to get to the point you are at now? #sffwrtcht
3:35 amsffwrtcht:@sffwrtcht Where does "Spellbound" take us leading from "Spellwright"? #sffwrtcht in 140 characters LOL
3:36 ameruditeogre:@blakecharlton wow, that is a fascinating dynamic. It seems sensitive to problematics of communication that others might miss #sffwrtcht
3:37 amblakecharlton:@shadowflame1974 a bit, it has autobiographical elements. but it really is hoping to be _an adventure_ w/in those problems #sffwrtcht
3:38 amblakecharlton:@eruditeogre thank you kindly. i hope so! #sffwrtcht
3:39 amBryanThomasS:@blakecharlton Sounds awesome. I'm waiting for an arc, you know. ;) #sffwrtcht
3:39 amshadowflame1974:RT @sffwrtcht: Where does "Spellbound" take us leading from "Spellwright"? #sffwrtcht in 140 characters LOL #sffwrtcht
3:39 amsffwrtcht:@blakecharlton Have you heard from any kids who share ur struggles & have read your book? #sffwrtcht
3:40 amblakecharlton:@BryanThomasS we'll see what we can do w/ the ARCs! #sffwrtcht
3:40 amBryanThomasS:@blakecharlton Ooooo. Awesome. I would have been fine if you blew me off. #sffwrtcht LOL
3:40 amblakecharlton:@sffwrtcht yes! all fan mail is wonderful but the fan mail from LD and disabled ppl is esp wonderful to me! #sffwrtcht
3:41 amshadowflame1974:I know for sure one who is getting one sometime. :) Oldest son just "discovered" reading. *cheers!* #sffwrtcht
3:41 amsffwrtcht:@blakecharlton I imagine so. It's got to be encouraging for them to see the possibilities they can have in life #sffwrtcht
3:42 amBryanThomasS:@blakecharlton How does dyslexia effect the approach you take to your craft? more outlining? Extra beta readers? Anything? #sffwrtcht
3:43 ameruditeogre:@blakecharlton the question of how we make communication work for us, despite its vagaries and our own capacities, comes up a lot #sffwrtcht
3:45 amblakecharlton:@BryanThomasS a bit of what I was talking to @eruditeogre about; it makes me more 'suspicious' of language. #sffwrtcht
3:46 amshadowflame1974:Blake, what part is probably the most challenging to you? #sffwrtcht
3:46 amblakecharlton:@eruditeogre & i spend a lot of time thinking about that! the problem is how to address the problems w/ language...#sffwrtcht
3:46 ameruditeogre:@blakecharlton I'm thinking also of that fine podcast you did with James Enge on Functional Nerds recently. Language is weird! #sffwrtcht
3:46 amblakecharlton:@eruditeogre ...w/o breaking the illusion or dream of the story as a complete and seperate world #sffwrtcht
3:46 amsffwrtcht:@blakecharlton Do you find yourself avoiding words which particularly trouble you or other dyslexic people in writing? #sffwrtcht
3:47 amshadowflame1974:@blakecharlton just the English language or language in general? #sffwrtcht
3:47 amblakecharlton:@shadowflame1974 the first 50k words! always the hardest, the story is expanding and & always feel like it's going to explode #sffwrtcht
3:48 amblakecharlton:@shadowflame1974 not just English, but other types of language, scientific language, biochemical language (DNA) etc etc. #sffwrtcht
3:48 ameruditeogre:@blakecharlton right, you don't want to get too meta; you want to keep suspension of disbelief and direct engagement in the story #sffwrtcht
3:50 amblakecharlton:@eruditeogre precisely! & bc i have always perceived langauge as frail, and incomplete dream, i have an impulse toward the meta #sffwrtcht
3:50 amdilettante:@blakecharlton When I finished Spellwright I felt like the Order v. Chaos theme was influenced by Darwinism. was that just me? #sffwrtcht
3:50 amblakecharlton:@eruditeogre and i have to work to tone that down to an appropriate level. #sffwrtcht
3:51 amsffwrtcht:@blakecharlton Do you find urself avoiding words which particularly trouble you or other dyslexic people in writing? #sffwrtcht
3:51 amshadowflame1974:Many authors give their MCs character flaws but do not give them developmental or physical handicaps, your opinion on why #sffwrtcht
3:52 amBryanThomasS:@blakecharlton I would imagine that might develop as a defense mechanism. #sffwrtcht
3:52 amblakecharlton:@shadowflame1974 probably bc everyone has character flaws, but fewer ppl have disabilities #sffwrtcht
3:53 amBryanThomasS:@blakecharlton Yes, MC with disabilities is a unique angle, and, of course, something you can write with inside knowledge of #sffwrtcht
3:54 amBryanThomasS:@blakecharlton So we can expect "Spellbound" next Fall and a third book in 2012? #sffwrtcht
3:55 amJLCoburn:@shadowflame1974 #sffwrtcht I think a lot of them feel its taboo or that they might come off as insincere. Moreso with mental than physical.
3:55 ameruditeogre:@blakecharlton that makes a lot of sense, toning down your sensitivity to language's frailty & using your insight to spin a tale #sffwrtcht
3:56 amblakecharlton:@JLCoburn true! it takes a lot of research to get a disability right if you don't have one. @shadowflame1974 #sffwrtcht
3:57 amshadowflame1974:@JLCoburn Taboo? maybe in the past, but I do think it will be more common in the future. Just take a look at the nxt generation #sffwrtcht
3:57 amBryanThomasS:@blakecharlton I would imagine writing about it might also be intimidating for fear of insulting or condescending #sffwrtcht
3:58 amJLCoburn:@shadowflame1974 #sffwrtcht True, but most people writing are from older generations where those details were taboos or only now accepted.
3:59 amshadowflame1974:@blakecharlton of my boys and nephews, 3 of 6 has a learning challenge. Aspgers, dyslexia and ADHD #sffwrtcht
3:59 amBryanThomasS:@shadowflame1974 @blakecharlton I have ADHD myself. I am still wrestling with how to work that into writing #sffwrtcht
3:59 ameruditeogre:@blakecharlton I think that's true, writers start from experiences they know or have access to & many don't understand disability #sffwrtcht
4:00 amblakecharlton:@shadowflame1974 good on you for keeping up w/ the special learning conditions! #sffwrtcht
4:00 amblakecharlton:@BryanThomasS i can certainly sympathize ;-) #sffwrtcht
4:00 amBryanThomasS:@blakecharlton I imagine so. Do you have any other stories or series in mind after you've finished this trilogy? #sffwrtcht
4:00 amblakecharlton:@eruditeogre @shadowflame1974 i thought The Incident of the Dog in the Night Time (or whatever) did a good job #sffwrtcht
4:01 ameruditeogre:@blakecharlton I think this is particularly true in more action or adventure-oriented fare, & especially for the heroes. Sadly #sffwrtcht
4:02 amBryanThomasS:@blakecharlton "Spellwright" is on discount right now on Amazon, if anyone hasn't read it. And u should. #sffwrtcht
4:03 amJLCoburn:@blakecharlton #sffwrtcht You'd be surprised how willing Family Support Groups are willing to act as an intermediate to finding a source.
4:03 amBryanThomasS:Okay, @blakecharlton has graciously agreed to hang over for 10 minutes or so since I was late. Keep the questions coming. #sffwrtcht
4:04 amJLCoburn:@BryanThomasS #sffwrtcht Not getting super involved, but my wife works in just that field so I've got a bit of inside info.
4:04 amblakecharlton:@BryanThomasS yeah, i've got a bunch of diff stuff cooking. but can't say : / until we finalize deals #sffwrtcht
4:04 amsffwrtcht:Our next #sffwrtcht we welcome editor extraordinairre @johnjosephadams 12/22 at 9EST. He'll be a great guest.
4:04 amBryanThomasS:@blakecharlton Fair enough. Any plans to do SF? #sffwrtcht
4:05 amblakecharlton:@BryanThomasS i've got a few SF stories i'd like to try, but the longer stuff would be fantasy, #sffwrtcht
4:05 amshadowflame1974:@JLCoburn support groups can be a lifesaver when your kid is first diagnosed or you don't know how to help your kid #sffwrtcht
4:05 amBryanThomasS:@blakecharlton I asked earlier but didn't see an answer. Which were the first fantasy books that made u love the genre? #sffwrtcht
4:05 amblakecharlton:@BryanThomasS there's a non-fiction project about disabled physicians i'd like to pursue #sffwrtcht
4:06 amBryanThomasS:@blakecharlton I'd think you could come up with some interesting medical stories in SF #sffwrtcht
4:06 amBryanThomasS:@blakecharlton Oh, that sounds awesome. #sffwrtcht
4:06 ameruditeogre:@blakecharlton I think the question of how to enrich fiction by bringing in people w/ disabilities not as liabilities (cont.) #sffwrtcht
4:07 ameruditeogre:@blakecharlton but as full participants with the full range of human strengths & weaknesses is still a big challenge in fantasy #sffwrtcht
4:08 amBryanThomasS:@JLCoburn ADHD field? #sffwrtcht
4:08 amBryanThomasS:@eruditeogre I think you're right. It's a challenge in fiction generally, I'd say. But the possibilities in specfic are rich #sffwrtcht
4:08 amshadowflame1974:@eruditeogre @blakecharlton YES! I would love to see more of this. #sffwrtcht
4:09 amJLCoburn:@BryanThomasS #sffwrtcht She's a caseworker dealing with all sorts of mental disabilities.
4:09 amBryanThomasS:@blakecharlton All right, well, Blake, you've been an awesome guest. Anything you'd like to talk about before we close? #sffwrtcht
4:10 amBryanThomasS:@JLCoburn Ah cool. Interesting stuff. #sffwrtcht
4:10 amblakecharlton:RT @shadowflame1974: @eruditeogre @blakecharlton YES! I would love to see more of this. #sffwrtcht <--Agreed!
4:10 amblakecharlton:@BryanThomasS no thank you, this has been a lot of fun! #sffwrtcht
4:10 amBryanThomasS:@blakecharlton Thank you. Remember to check out "Spellwright" and look for "Spellbound" next year. From TOR. #sffwrtcht
4:11 amshadowflame1974:thanks for your time Blake we greatly appreciate your time! #sffwrtcht
4:11 amsffwrtcht:You can also find @blakecharlton hanging out at #sffwrtcht
4:12 amsffwrtcht:Okay, next week, Wed at 9EST with John Joseph Adams, editor of Lightspeed and every other anthology you can name. #sffwrtcht
4:12 amsffwrtcht:Thanks for joining us with great questions everyone! #sffwrtcht
4:12 ameruditeogre:@BryanThomasS @shadowflame1974 Indeed, I think that in specfic we have opportunities to think more richly about this aspect(cont) #sffwrtcht
4:13 amshadowflame1974:thanks for chatting with us tonight everyone #sffwrtcht
4:13 ameruditeogre:#BryanThomasS #shadowflame1974 of human experience and what stories we can tell, and strengthen by including them. #sffwrtcht
4:14 amshadowflame1974:@eruditeogre yes we have a bit more freedom than other genres and can pull in aspects that RL lacks. #sffwrtcht
4:15 amBryanThomasS:@eruditeogre Also, I ultimately think that specfic is the fictn of pssbilitiess whch allows explratn of disabilities in new light #sffwrtcht
4:16 amshadowflame1974:this has wheels churning again. A mage with fibro? how would he/she cope with the spoon theory? #sffwrtcht
4:17 amBryanThomasS:@shadowflame1974 Ha ha. Nice to see you inspired by this. #sffwrtcht
4:17 amshadowflame1974:Goodness what kind of trouble would a telekenetic ADHD have? what kind of things would they have to do to cope with gifts. #sffwrtcht
4:18 amBryanThomasS:@shadowflame1974 I need to explore more what I could do with ADHD. Espec how we read ppl & perceive ourselves so differently. #sffwrtcht

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