I have a few good friends–mostly scattered over the internet–who are writers. I’ve been part of some great communities. Gotten to know people. Had fun with people. Shared ideas with them. And I’m incredibly grateful for the internet. It’s the thing that makes it possible to find people who share my interests and goals. And…
Archive for June, 2016
I’ve always thought the ‘short story’ was one of those irritating elephants in the room. My particular brand of short story elephant, is made of shiny gold, and spends 100% of his time glaring at me from the corner of the room looking down his extra long trunk nose to make me feel woefully inadequate.
Every author knows they should be able to write a short, but not everyone can.
I’m so inept at writing short stories, I wrote a piece of flash fiction last year and the fucking things turned into 30,000 words of what will be a novel. Apparently I didn’t get the ‘SHORT’ memo.
All I can do is write full length novels, or blink-of-the-eye flash fiction. Something about that smug middle man puts me in a catatonic state of ‘fuck-you-upitus-writersblock.’
However, Esther Newton, is a master of the short. I’ve just finished reading her collection of award-winning short stories:
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I’m sorry, but it’s time to go back to basics. I have been receiving the most cuckoo for cocoa puffs query letters lately. It’s like watching a person shoot himself in the head instead of pitching his book. I can see the blood spatter on the wall.
I’ve said a zillion times: the letter has to be professional, but should give a sense of the writer’s style or sensibility. The letter should be three paragraphs: 1) introduce the project; 2) expand on it in an interesting way via the themes or good comps or most salient details (no plot points please!); and 3) your credentials. Writers often ask me, what if I don’t have any credentials? I always answer: get some! What if we can’t, they cry? It’s strange to think that you can sell a book before you’ve ever sold a story or an article. THough stranger things have…
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How To Make Readers Stick On Your Blog Over 3 million blog posts are published daily. Guess how many of these blog posts would see the limelight? If you ask me, I would say 10%. I think my guess is even higher. Maybe it’s somewhere around 5%. Well, all that doesn’t matter. There’s a reason…
PHYSICAL BENEFITS: It slows your respiration, and leads to longer and deeper breaths It reduces the stress hormone cortisol, and in return boosts your immunity Boosts the serotonin production, leading to a happy you! Works as your brains’s volume knob. Overtime it allows you to tune out what is unnecessary, in order to prioritize and give……
Here’s some interesting thoughts on a writer’s process.
I especially liked this comment under ‘Distractions’.
“At last fall’s New England Crime Bake (a mystery writer’s conference), a best-selling author I admire said her latest book would have been published a year earlier if it wasn’t for Facebook. “
Back in college, I had an English professor who talked about her “process” all the time. She talked about slaving over a piece day and night until worried friends finally took the type-written pages from her sweaty hands and turned them in for her because she never felt like her writing was good enough. Of course, once it was submitted, it was accepted and praised. The message my eighteen-year-old self took from hearing a semester’s worth of this kind of talk was that a writer’s process was necessarily difficult and even painful. I didn’t take any more English classes during my undergraduate career.
For years I thought all writers had the same process and I thought it was more difficult that a career in medicine.
Now, many years later, I realize each writer has their own process, and it’s up to each writer to figure out what process suits them…
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