leaps and bounds 2015 was my best writing year BY FAR. *leaps and bounds* That the year was also extremely challenging on a personal level is just the way it so often happens, isn’t it? There’s a reason we remember Dickens’ best of times/worst of times quote. But if you have to go through hard times, I can recommend having some professional successes to ease the way. I started 2015 with a goal to sub as many stories as often as I could. I ended up with over twice as many as 2
The other day while we were taking our evening walk, he told me about a “stupid mistake” (is there any other kind?) he’d made. Then he quoted the man who taught him carpentry, saying, “The sign of a good carpenter is the ability to cover up your mistakes and make them work.” This is a concept I’m familiar with. In art, we do this. You make a mistake in an oil painting, it’s no problem, just repaint it. That’s trickier in watercolor, but perfection is elusive at best, so you f
I was surprisingly anxious about beginning, but found it neither too hard nor too easy. Maybe that’s what we call “just right?” Yesterday, I worked on the Pitch, but couldn’t make it as succinct and gripping as I’d like. I’m going to work it over every day until I feel it’s right. Maybe that can serve as a compass to tell me whether I’m still on the map. The map, the map…I need to make a map of my setting. Impressions as I wrote: Everything needs saying all at once. It’s hard
So how do you come up with complex, interesting characters? Get them to talk. Engage them in conversation. Ask them questions not only about the predicament they’re in and what they think about the other characters, but also their past, their pet peeves, their first love, their father, what they like to eat, whether they like to exercise or have health problems. Not all of this information will find it’s way into your story, but some will and all of it will inform what you wr
working draft When I became an editor for Third Person Press, I had no idea what a vast improvement being this role would make to my own writing. Poring over dozens of stories in the last few years has honed my ability to spot errors in my work as well as others. If I had one piece of advice to writers who submit work to us, it would be to revise more ruthlessly before submitting.
However, if you can’t spot the problems and errors in your own work, you can’t improve it. To