Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Some things worth reading 03/22/11

Mulholland Books has pretty quickly made itself an indispensable site, in my opinion. Many of its features skew toward the crime genre, but some of it is more general. Here are two examples:

Derek Haas recently wrote an article entitled "Seven Things Novelists Should Know About Screenwriting." I don't think I need to be explain what it's about, do I?

The next day, he offered a follow-up: "Seven Things Screenwriters Should Know About Writing Novels."

"Hollywood Shadows" by Dana Goodyear tells the story of how one therapist helps Hollywood screenwriters overcome writer's block.

Monday, March 21, 2011

One story down...

I finished that short story. No, I conquered it. I laid waste to its, um, something. Anyway, you can be sure that I saw it driven before me and heard the lamentation of its women. So there.

It helped to walk away from it for a couple of days. Give it a rest. Back in the old days I used to feel like it was some kind of defeat if I couldn't finish a story in just a few days. maybe that's why they weren't very good and none of them were ever published. Just a thought. This time around, by which I mean this current push to write and publish, I'm letting things take as much time as they need. Though it still feels good to put the words THE END at the bottom of a document.

This story turned out to be about 4,200 words written over four sessions. That's roughly 1,000 words a session. It feels like I should be able to do it more quickly than I did, but I'm cutting myself slack. Something I need to do a lot more of.

Now I need to let it sit for a few days more and give it a polish before I send it off to a reader.

In other writing news, I got back notes on my novel from my first reader. Now I need to sit down and actually make the changes and polish it up. A month's work? That's what I'll be aiming for. Wish me luck.

And to make this post of interest to more than just me (maybe), here's a music video. This is what I listened to for the most part as I wrote. Weezer's first album. Good, good stuff.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Another quick update

I wrote another 1,082 words on the short story I started yesterday. For those keeping count, meaning me, that's 2,151 words total so far.

This is another in a series I've been writing featuring a magician named (stage-named) Christopher Dark. This story is about a bit of sex magic that goes pretty horribly wrong and it's been a lot of fun to write so far. I stopped writing just before it's revealed exactly how it went wrong, so it should be even more fun to write once I pick it up again. Yea for having fun while I write!

That is all for now.

Monday, March 14, 2011

The smallest update possible

New words tonight after much too long. I started a new story. It's funny, over the last week I made three other attempts to start this thing, getting as far as two full pages before I decided that what I was writing was no good. Last night I started the same story in a new location -- Portland's The Roxy -- and suddenly the story was flowing. I don't know why these things work, but I'm glad that they do. Eventually.

1,069 words this evening. A good start. The best part is that I can see where the story is going. It has helped me a lot to ground these new stories I'm writing in Portland. It's a city I know well. And, maybe more importantly, while I like the city, I don't love it. I lived there for 18 years, in all parts of the city, and I saw both the good and the bad sides of it. I think Portland is a lot darker than most people, including those who live there, would like to think. But that may be true of most places, I suppose.

Regardless, a new story, yes. It feels good to get words on the page. Most definitely, yes.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Stephen King on the Tea Party

“And remember, when these people talk to you about it, if you like your weekend, thank a union guy. If you like a 40-hour week, thank a union guy. If you like a day’s honest pay for a day’s honest work, thank a union guy!”

I've had a lot of reasons over the years to like Stephen King. Now I have a new reason to respect him.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Will Ludwigsen speaks clever

This is advice for young or otherwise new writers. And it doesn't come from me, so you can probably trust it. Will Ludwigsen is a newly minted MFA (he graduated just this past January). He went through the Stonecoast program, the very same one that I am currently attending. Honestly, knowing that people like Will are in the program is what gives me faith that I made the correct academic decision. He's got a list of published stories that would make me envious if he weren't such a nice guy.

On his site, Will offers some pointers that have helped him along the way. Each one seems reasonable and achievable. Rather than steal the list, I'll just direct you to it.

Also, remember his name. You'll be hearing it a lot, I think.