I received an email which read:
I’ve finished Eddy and I downloaded and read The Gold Tooth. Who is Noreen Lace?
The sender later elaborated – These are two very different styles. I found this surprising as most of the authors I read are a single style in each piece of writing.
I’ve thought about this before – I feel it’s good to be able to change. To me, it shows growth. However, some disagree. Some people feel you must stick to your style because your readers have expectations and may disappointed.
For me – I want to be able to grow, change, and do what feels natural – just to write what comes out and not to force it to be what someone else wants it to be.
Stories are organic. They grow from the characters, the setting, and the force of its own motion; therefore, the writing itself must be organic which may grow into a different style.
If you know me – you’ll see the stories are still part of my personality and therefore personal style: dark, dry, ironic.
I wonder if thinking this will help…..
Maybe not in all cases. Some friends are just cray!
Anne Enright – Author of The Gathering, The Green Road, and winner of the Man Booker Prize. (reblogged from The Guardian online).
1 The first 12 years are the worst.
2 The way to write a book is to actually write a book. A pen is useful, typing is also good. Keep putting words on the page.
3 Only bad writers think that their work is really good.
4 Description is hard. Remember that all description is an opinion about the world. Find a place to stand.
5 Write whatever way you like. Fiction is made of words on a page; reality is made of something else. It doesn’t matter how “real” your story is, or how “made up”: what matters is its necessity.
6 Try to be accurate about stuff.
7 Imagine that you are dying. If you had a terminal disease would you finish this book? Why not? The thing that annoys this 10-weeks-to-live self is the thing that is wrong with the book. So change it. Stop arguing with yourself. Change it. See? Easy. And no one had to die.
8 You can also do all that with whiskey.
9 Have fun.
10 Remember, if you sit at your desk for 15 or 20 years, every day, not counting weekends, it changes you. It just does. It may not improve your temper, but it fixes something else. It makes you more free.
Family myths are the richest to mine for stories. Family myths are things that a great aunt or uncle might have done, where they may have worked, lives they may – or may not – have lived.
It is rumored that one of my great grandmothers was Hoffa’s ex-girlfriend. Although when we tried to match up the timeline, it didn’t quite match; however, given a few corrections here and there – who knows?! It’s fun to think about.
Another family myth involves my grandfather – even telling the story here feels like I’m giving away secrets about my family, but my grandmother swore to her dying day that the tale was myth.
My grandfather was shot in the back by a police officer. A number of different stories are told as to why he was shot, but the officer stated he was aiming for his legs.
My grandfather was over 6 feet tall. The cop must have been the worst shot in the world if he was aiming at his legs.
My grandmother lived with people creating myths as to why he was shot. She would tell us stories about aunts and cousins who came to her asking for the truth, asking for money, asking for what they believed my grandmother had which caused his death. I was present for one such argument before my grandmother passed of a cousin asking her for the truth before she died. Grandma’s Last Secret is about one of those myths.
I love family myths so much, that I’m planning to write more stories about them. Maybe I’ll write “Hoffa’s Runaway Bride” someday.
I read friend’s blog about Conspiracy Theories; it inspired me to write this blog.
I published a story about conspiracy theories in which a few of the characters believe that the microchip is a government tracking device. I believe it appeared in the first issue of Delphinium.
I don’t believe these theories, but I do find some of them interesting. I wonder how they begin. Who is the person that starts them? For example, how did the flat earth conspiracy begin? I was speaking to someone who believes wholeheartedly the world is flat and scientists have been covering for the government for centuries!
We had a rather long discussion of proof wherein he finally said, “Are you only going to believe credentialed sources?”
Uhm. Yes. Sorry. (one of the problems with our country is that people are believing any old damn thing they read on social media or the internet without checking where it comes from. – and another reason why my credentials are published for all to see).
I stumped him with – what is the purpose of hiding the “truth” that the earth is flat? What could be gained by our earth not being round?
I don’t want to tell you his answer.
What does this have to do with writing? EVERYTHING! These conspiracy theories may begin by word of mouth, but someone writes them down and shares them – especially today when everyone and his brother has a website.
This can affect your character – do they believe in any of these? Is your MC an otherwise educated person who is concerned about the identification chips in his dog? Or do they question – maybe not believe – but question the validity of fluoride in our water as a means to mind control?
Or – write a story about one of the theories. There’s a full list on Wiki.
Or – make up your own!
Enjoy – because, you know, because the powers that be want you to laugh at the list.
Have you heard something like “don’t piss off a writer, they may kill you off in a book.”
I guess it’s a threat to make people not want to cross a writer, make them afraid they’ll be named. An odd thing is sometimes people think I put them in a book or poem even though they hadn’t occurred to me at all during the writing. Then there are those who want to be in a story.
I had a friend cancel plans on me at the very last moment. Not a problem, except this was at the long end of his excuses and bs, so I was done. The funny thing – he wasn’t. He sent me an unending barrage of drunken text messages: it seems, in his liquid bravado, he admitted he’d wanted me to make him famous.
“wat wil u writ but me if u nvr gve me shce”
read one of this texts. A day later:
“I cuold be ur bes t s tory vr!”
A few years after that, someone asked me what chapter they would be.
I don’t take people wholly and insert them into a story. There are just little bits and parts, an essence, a scent, a glance. They are a single speckle of mortar in the building of a house. I guess, one might argue, they are then in a story, poem, book, but they’ll never actually be named.
How do you keep track of your submissions?
I keep a log of when, where, and what I’ve submitted. I also updated it when my piece is rejected, accepted, or haven’t heard from the publisher.
There are a number of ways to keep logs, either by date, title, or other.
I keep mine by date of submission, but it’s easily searchable if I want to find out where and when I submitted anything specific.
I also keep a log of places not to submit again. It’s a very short list, but if you run across an editor who is unprofessional or a journal that operates with questionable practices, you should keep track.
Using submittable as your tracking system works if you don’t submit to journals or publishers who are not members, as I do, but I find their site challenging to navigate when I’m looking for a certain title I may have submitted at different time periods. My list is long and some journals don’t actually update.
I’ve had a few things accepted (or rejected) and the publisher has not updated my submission on the site; therefore, it appears to still be in process.
I find my own log more easy to navigate.