Thursday, April 28, 2011


As joyful as it can be to write when you want to the opposite is true if you don't want to. It seems that everyone wants to do it and to learn how to do it but it is about a huge investment in time, discipline, and faith. Where does one find the confidence to chose a path anyway? There are so many options.
They tell me the public brought paranormal to the fore, but the many half vampire, half werewolf, half of somethings make me cringe. It's almost as if we've got this new material but we've got to do the same things with it. We go for newness but somehow we can't arrive. Newness must arrive with the person themselves, who they are and what they think and what they write cannot be separated. I get these impressions from the huge amount of reading that I do, almost a book a day and no, I am not joking. What I get is a tiredness of this glut of stories, a sense of sameness, that I'm reading the same thing over and over. What I want is unpredictability in story even as it is in life. The thing that books did for me when I was between being a child and an adult doesn't happen now. This overwhelming sense of possibility.
Being a writer is an odd thing, people study it and even so I don't think it has parameters. The simple telling of story seems to be enormously complicated.
NEVER start a story with a character waking up.
NEVER change point of view
NEVER start with It was a dark and stormy night unless you are Snoopy the dog.
NEVER have the main character be the murderer or an awful person.
NEVER tell a characters dream in detail
NEVER use the passive voice, actually this is very useful.
NEVER use exclamation points.
NEVER have the answer be aliens did it unless things are exceedingly odd all around during the story.
NEVER forget to enclose a self addressed postage paid envelope
NEVER call editors constantly or make a pest of yourself. I'm told publishing is a small world.
NEVER use colored paper or confetti or perfumed paper.
NEVER have characters on drugs or depict drugs in any other way than dangerous, deadly, and unsavory
NEVER say love does not exist. Make those dreams come true at least on the page.
I think it wise to remember that people who do read like some wordplay and things of that nature because they love words. That's why they are reading.
This is a list of advice I've read or been given. It is not I who is wise and know these things. I do however, cook a mean fried chicken.

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