Sunday, September 12, 2010

...I got three poems accepted today. I'm up to 177. It never gets old.

...Here's one of the quotes-a-day that came this morning. "On the internet, no one knows you're a dog." -- Peter Steiner. That's so true and also could have two different meanings.

...Here's one I found written down in a pile of my writing junk. "I used to be Snow White, but I drifted." -- Mae West

...When I took writing classes in college, they said to never go anywhere without pen and paper in case an idea strikes. I feel naked if I don't have them. However, I find random thoughts everywhere. Many times I have no idea what I was getting at when I wrote them down, but I am a sucker for a clever turn of phrase.

...Here in Seattle we have had a sucky summer. It's not supposed to work that way. We pay all fall and winter long for our sun-struck summers. This season, we got ripped off. It's grayer than cement outside right now.


Get out of that slushpile, what are you crazy?!?!?
Sure, these tips are gold, but they don't cover everything.

I give you

My 21 tips (apologies if I stole any)

1. Have you considered writing a sex scene or giving your protagonist large breasts?
2. Try adding Literary Ambiguity to your short story. If you are successful, your reader will always come away from your fiction with the ability to compare it to a film they once rented.
3. If your plot is too exciting or moving too fast, enhance realism by making your characters stop for a meal at an ethnic restaurant. Describe each course and allow your characters to re-cap the plot so far.
4. A well built character is one who refuses to change, regardless of the trauma he or she endures. Think: Rifleman or Mannix.
5. Do not write a single word unless you know how your story will end. You are the dungeon master.
6. Apply Epiphany directly to the forehead.
7. Trust your workshop peers. They aren’t in competition with you or anything, nor are they attempting to hijack your story to make it their own. Use all of their advice. Also, keep work-shopping a recalcitrant story for years.
8. Rashomon an insignificant event.
9. Heighten the emotional impact by making sure a kitten/puppy/baby is injured or killed by a Very Bad Person.
10. Leave it open-ended as to whether your point of view character is Insane.
11. Perhaps your story could use an erotic dimension involving a character with a very large penis.
12. Writing successful fiction is all about reinforcing separation between the classes: Definitely think in terms of Main Plot and Subplots. Organization is the key.
13. Write what you know, especially you white people out there.
14. Very Bad People are inherently interesting.
15. Last line=punch line. Seal that sucker off. Lock that story down.
16. Subtext means writing in code. Readers love to work hard at detecting what you really meant to say.
17. Italics, italics, italics. Especially for flashbacks.
18. Depression hurts everyone, so a story that is completely non-stop depressing—say a faithful chronicle of a terminal patient’s decline and death—is emotionally successful.
19. Children lead interesting lives and make wonderful point of view characters, mainly because they don’t know anything!
20. Make sure your readers know if your characters aren’t white.
21. Try writing a story from the point of view of an impossible object, like Dick Cheney’s hospital gown.

1 comment:

  1. Soon, I'm probably gonna feel bad about that Dick Cheney crack (get it?!?!?!). snert.

    Thanks for the kind words.