A related note on this topic. I belong to a writing business group which has done a lot of empirical analysis on the optimal release rate for books in a series.
It's 18 days. Yup, not weeks, not months - Days.
See, I think there are two different things going on here. Sorry, I'm such an anorak on this but it's one of my areas of expertise, for my sins.Personally, I don’t see what I’m doing as directly equivalent to the kind of CPD that a lawyer or teacher does. For one thing, I’m not sure who or what I’m measuring it against: a lawyer has to be up to speed with developments in the law and modern working practices, but all kinds of fiction can be written successfully, a lot of it not “cutting edge”. There isn’t a single market and not knowing what happened in last year’s Hugo awards doesn’t really matter as much as not knowing how to apply the Civil Procedure Rules.
In terms of getting better at writing, well, that’s something that I would always be trying to do. I find articles about the technical side of writing interesting, and so I read quite a lot of them. I am interested in writing about different things as I go on – from the point of view of an unusual character, or using a new plot structure – but I don’t set out thinking I ought to do that. It’s really whatever the story demands in order to be told as best as possible.
I think lawyers get a bad rep for jargon. Romance novels seem to have a huge range of abbreviations to say what goes on.
But the C and D are about Continued Development - and more and more CPD is being used for wider personal development into softer skill areas like eg leadership. When they are, they have a different focus on maintaining and improving practice across a range of behaviours.
Actually, a massive means of improving would be to reduce the amount of passes it takes and make the first or early drafts closer to the final product thus making it more timely in its delivery WHILE maintaining quality.
As for the technical side of things, I’m not sure you can develop in any other way than simply write and gain experience. There’s the old adage that you have to knock out a million words before you can consider yourself adept, or good, or very good or whatever it is, and there’s probably some truth in that.
As for the technical side of things, I’m not sure you can develop in any other way than simply write and gain experience.
No football coach tells the lads to go and just have a kickaround.
I'm not sure. How many of us, for example, have studied the rules of rhetoric with the aim of incorporating their effects into our work? I came across the idea of the "rule of three" pretty much by accident, and quickly realised that it's often very effective. I'm sure there must be others, and when I get a moment I'm planning to read more about them.
I'm not sure that's a useful analogy, as there are players such as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who are seen to be "overdeveloped" by sporting academies and lose the grit and spit that comes from, as you say, having a kickabout. There's a lot to be said for operating outside the shackles of certain structures and parameters.
In which case, I'd say that words, in whatever form they come out, all count. I wouldn't say that, pound for pound (word for word?), a short story is more useful for honing craft than a novella, or blog post, or a novel. It all helps, as it broadens our experience and enables us to cover new ground.
So, in conclusion, I stand by my argument that writing begets development.
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