Prepping for Writer’s Conference

Well, looking to attend the OWFI writer’s conference in three days. Excited to take a day off and work on my writer’s goals.

It’ll be interesting to see what the local writer’s conference is like. Hope to learn a lot, meet a lot of people, and maybe get people who are interested in my book in general. I am ambitious, and wouldn’t turn down an agent, but I want to focus on getting information and connections that can’t be found or learned by reading articles constantly.

Will definitely report back afterwards. Should be fun!

Perspectives I Like

I really enjoy getting into a character’s head, and seeing a world through their eyes. A lot of this shows in my writing I think, because that’s where my base state of writing tends to end up. Much like my focus on characters as a focal point for most any story I write, the perspective tends to rest squarely on the shoulders of the perspectives of those characters.

Some of my favorite novels belay this exact thing. I love Ann Leckie’s Imperial Radch trilogy, for focusing on a person who’s life was spent in third person multiplicative perspective, from seeing out of many bodies, and from a ship as well. Breq’s life was pared down to just a single body in the ship, and the story does a great job of conveying the alien nature of being singular, alone, and incomplete.

Another favorite book of mine (and author) is Robin McKinley’s Sunshine. Written soley from a first-person perspective from someone who’s passionate, grouchy, and constantly selling herself short, the perspective is sprawling and nearly stream of consciousness in a way that feels incredibly lived in for me. Intentional or not, the story does an amazing job of selling how much Sunshine (the main character’s name) absolutely undercuts her own actions with such a casual dismissiveness that I still find layers in twenty reads in.

Neverwhere more or less rounds out my three favorite books (series) and with Richard Mayhew, you find a person imminently relatable as someone who’s fallen from a world of accounting in modern day life into a dreary Wonderland of London Below, into that place between worlds. Sure, the perspective does jump a bit between a few characters, but the focus is on Richard, Richard Mayhew, Dick. Those other perspectives are to help enhance the world, and by the time the book enters its third act, Richard is the only perspective we see.

I love a whole lot of stories. I love stories most, however, that give me a perspective to live in and breath from. I try to deliver the same, even if I give it from the perspective of a banshee who’s out for revenge on who stole her body, or a terraformer who’s trying to fix a colony ship in transit.

My Writing Focus

(Note: this has opinions of one person generalizing to the entirety of the field of writing, so salt to taste.)

“In a dismal bog where a city sleeps, where only the crows speak the truth, a soul returns to find the body it was wrought from.”

“Instead of going nuclear, World War 2 was punctuated with accelerated biological warfare.”

“The CEO was put into a coma using the company’s newest robot assistant product and only five people could have done it, but who?”

“Its a romance but the Frog Prince accidentally turns their true love into a likewise magical frog, but she’s cool with it.”

These are great, interesting ideas, but the last one is most likely to be written by me. It does something that I feel most defines me as a writing. It focuses on a character.

I love characters. I’m helplessly dependent on focusing on building a character first, and then thrusting them against a world. This may not seem like much of a revelation, but so many writers have so many billions of ways they go about their work. All stories must have world building, characters, plot, and ambiance (and if you consult other “essentials of writing” there are a billion other must-haves), but not all authors start from the same source.

I gravitate towards characters, because ultimately, that’s what I like most about what I read. In a lot of ways, being so focused on characters makes my life much easier. In a lot more ways, I am super jealous of other types of writers. (I think every writer is secretly or, as is my case, not-so-secretly jealous of every other writer for something. Each writer does something, or many things that another writer wishes they could do as well. This, in my opinion, is a truism. Anyone who thinks they aren’t jealous of another writer is likely not looking hard enough, or isn’t actually as good as they think.)

World-building focused writers tend to be locked into a fantasy or sci-fi setting, because there’s not as much world building necessary in a realistic modern setting (that isn’t to slight those that world build in that very setting, it can and does happen! And historical fiction is so intrinsically tied to world-building “correctly”! I am not trying to start a fight!) World building takes so much time, and I tend to build organically, as the story needs, rather than lay out four hundred pages of rules, maps, and acceptable deviations from science-as-it-exists-today. I don’t have the patience for it, but the worlds out there are so rich and full and lived in that I am constantly in wonder of their ability track it all.

Plot writers can often exist in any world, at any time, but they have to focus so much on getting the reader from the beginning of the story to the end, believably and entertainingly. I actually (and I am not an expert in writing – like I say in my About page, I am an engineer by trade) kind of classify both thrillers and romance in this same very “writer focus” class. Both of them are tied to building to the big reveal, and the plot is formed by throwing the obstacles in the way. I understand how to plot, but I am not confident in my ability to twist and wind in that serpentine circle that brings the reader to the huge reveal that allows them to finally take that breath they’ve been holding since page 1.

Ambiance writers exist in all worlds, but are masters of the subtle. A creeping sense of unease, the flow from despair to a small triumph, they build a world not of objects and history but of emotions. Horror does this, when done well, but so do most surrealism stories. Ambiance, in my mind, is the ultimate refinement of style, where the reader doesn’t need to understand the plot, the character’s choices, or the world, but still be compelled to see where the author takes them. Ephemeral, and very much a trained skill, its also hardest to condense, materialize or describe to a reader or another writer. I’ve yet to see a plot/story outline contain an “ambiance” section for each scene, because its something only the skilled author can materialize into a world.

I am a character writer. Of course, I want to master all of the above. But… But when I write, all of the above are always centered around that core lens of a character. I care primarily about worlds when I have characters worth rooting for, good or bad. I struggle to see a plot unfold without knowing who the central figure navigating it is. Ambiance is set by the resident characters, who set that tone by their reactions.

I want you to meet someone, find out their struggles, and then hope as hard as they do for their success. I want my Frog Princess to hop into the spotlight, much to the surprise of everyone, and then we will see what else follows.

I want you to see the stories I write, period, which is why I am still here, writing this blog.

Have a good day and sincerely yours,

RUA Rubin


About RUA Rubin, the blogpost

Eventually, I need to add an About page. I will probably crib from this post some, in a condensed format.

I’ve never been good at telling people about myself. I was raised in Oklahoma. I was raised Jewish, but am not particularly religious anymore. Growing up, after having gone through the various dreams a child has of being an astronaut, or a super scientist, or a fireman, I settled on a career path at about age twelve. I wanted to be an engineer, a novelist, and a stand-up comedian.

Even then, I knew the easiest one was being an engineer, and I was lucky enough to have the kind of support growing up that made going to college to get an electrical engineering degree was possible. (I chose electrical engineering to try to learn how our world’s magic works, with mixed success. But a post on that later.)

Becoming a novelist is what I am working on now. Doing this is definitely the hardest part of my twelve-year old’s career path. I knew this even when I was twelve, clambering further up my father’s old shelves full of used books, reading material far too old for me, but devouring the content regardless. I love to see a world unfold for myself, and it will always be my dream to unfold worlds for others to read and enjoy.

Other things about me: My favorite colors are green and purple. I drink coffee with cream but no sugar. My favorite authors are Ann Leckie, A Lee. Martinez, and Robin McKinley. I love science fiction and fantasy in equal measure, though my writing lends me towards science fiction. I am 28 years old as of March 2018 and married to the most wonderful spouse in the world.

What else do people share in their about pages?

I haven’t written anything published yet, but I will. Yes, I have released works under an online screen name, but no, I am not going share that here, just as a matter of trying to keep those inkwells separate. I never was part of the group of people to obsessively share about myself, so blogging will be hard, but I intend to keep it up. (but no promises).

I think that’s all for now.

Have a good day and sincerely yours,

RUA Rubin


This is only the Beginning

I am expecting to come back later and fill this in more completely. 

Edit (11-10-2017): so I have decided to fill this more completely.

Hello! I am RUA Rubin! Thank you for visiting and finding my old archives. 

In case you are reading this, you are probably looking at some of my early attempts at being a serious author. 

I don’t think there is any proper definition though; for being a serious author. I am putting for me, the time I started being a serious author is when I registered a domain and started this up. I am sure the answers by others range from the first time you come up with a novel idea, to the fourth book published by a major publisher. 

I gotta start somewhere so here is where I start.