Joe Bunting, of the well-known writing blog The Write Practice, recently published the e-book Let’s Write a Short Story!. I agreed to review an advance review copy (and my apologies, Joe, for being so late with the review; life conspired to keep me from writing it until now, let alone finishing my short story WIP).
The purpose of this book is to help writers to write short stories and get them published. It’s a short book, only 153 pages in the PDF I received. But it’s packed full of useful information to get beginning writers on the fast track to short story publication.
The book begins with a reality check: some statistics on the low acceptance rates of submissions to major American literary magazines. But it goes on to give eight good reasons we should write short stories anyway.
Next, short stories are defined by giving four main attributes they generally share, and three things they are not. This is followed by some discussion of how to get published by literary magazines. Continue reading →
This blog is supposed to be about my writing, as well as other random thoughts. Lately there’s been too much random and not enough writing.
The little writing time I’ve gotten in lately has gone entirely to my blog.I haven’t mentioned Write 1 Sub 1 since my post about it in mid-April. Well, I failed for May. I started a short story, but got sidetracked and never got back to it. Now we’re half way through June, and still no progress. I need to get refocused. Continue reading →
What am I? A writer? An author? Aspiring or actual?
In an earlier post I mentioned the issue of “aspiring writer” versus just “writer”, and chose to refer to myself as aspiring, because I’m not yet published.
Joel Friedlander has a different point of view, described in his post From Writer to Author to Publisher to Marketer. He says that we are a writer when we start writing, and we become an author when we’ve finished writing a book. Makes sense. I’ll go with his definition of author. Of course his main point is that self-publishers have to also become publishers and marketers (although if the progression is from author to publisher and then marketer, I would have reversed the evolution image at the top of the article 8^).
I don’t think I’ve mentioned before, but science fiction is my favourite genre (also thrillers, and particularly techno-thrillers), so this caught my attention.
In short, the article asserts that SF has gone from the optimism and big science of the Golden Age to a darker, more skeptical, dystopian tone, and that this mirrors a change in the general public’s view of science, which in turn has led to a decline in actual technological development. Engineers are going to work for web start-ups or investment firms instead of building space colonies and such. On the other hand, science is now far ahead of what is being written about in SF, rather than SF leading science.
It’s an interesting hypothesis. I can see SF inspiring (or not) young people to go into science and technology fields to a certain extent. But it’s no doubt a complex issue. Continue reading →
A niche near the entrance of al-Siq, Petra, Jordan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Being a newbie blogger, I’ve been struggling with the common issue of what to blog about. To be honest I never had any intention of starting a blog. If blogging had been invented when I was young and had all the answers to the world’s problems, I would likely have jumped right in. But now that I’m older I’m a little humbler. Also busier. And less energetic.
So why did I start? Well, I want to be a writer. People in the know, like Seth Godin, Joanna Penn, Lindsay Buroker, Writer’s Digest and many others say I have to have a platform, a brand. And they say I have to start long before my first book is launched if I want the book to be a success. Godin says three years. Someone else said at least a year. So I decided I should start right away, while I’m still outlining my first novel.
I’ve read opinions for and against writers putting their writing on their blog when they start out. The main reason against was that later on we might be embarrassed by our earlier writing. Especially if we manage to make a name for ourselves. And if our early writing was particularly bad.
Of course as we progress our writing will (or at least should) improve. But we are all beginners at some point. Some may have already had much experience under their belt when they started blogging, so we may never see their earlier work, but they were once beginners too. I don’t see that it’s anything to be embarrassed about. It simply shows our progression. Continue reading →