Since I can’t tell why, for sure, a story was rejected, I keep submitting to places that meet my minimum requirements. When I run out of places, I put the story in a folder that’s labeled ‘stories I still believe in’ and I review it once in a while.
Archive for the ‘The Craft of Writing’ Category
A short story is like a pie because, first, you can do one relatively quickly. Second, everyone likes pie.
Third, with both short stories and pie, you can use the finest ingredients in the world and still come up with an inedible mess.
MFA Programs and the efficacy or use thereof tend to come up in discussion periodically. For those of you interested, here is a run down of the types of programs and what to expect. I personally have an MFA in Poetry from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale and am currently looking into applying for a second MFA, this time in Fiction. I might be addicted to school. Or it might be that MFA programs really are just that awesome.
This year, Odyssey is offering three different online courses covering some of the most critical issues for developing writers.
Don DeLillo wrote: “One truth is the swing of the sentence, the beat and poise, but down deeper it’s the integrity of the writer as he matches with the language.”
Can the same thing be said about a writer’s connection to the work of another?
In Silent Interviews, Samuel R. Delany said: “I begin, a sentence lover. I’m forever delighted, then delighted all over, at the things sentences can trip and trick you into saying, into seeing. I’m astonished—just plain tickled!—at the sharp turns and tiny tremors they can whip your thoughts across.
The biggest reason people fail at creating and sticking to new habits is that they don’t keep doing it.
That seems obvious: if you don’t keep doing a habit, it won’t really become a habit. So what’s the solution to this obvious problem? Find a way to keep doing it.
When I first decided to take up writing as a serious pursuit, I figured the best way to get started was to ask a writer for advice. My lucky break was that Connie Willis happened to be in town to give a reading, and she gave me a wonderful tutorial in the basics; just Connie, her husband, and my wife, talking for a couple of hours in a Laramie bookstore. I owe a lot to Connie’s early advice.
I’ve been meaning to complete this piece for months but, well, you know how it goes: first there was that story that needed something I just couldn’t put my finger on, so I put it aside for a moment and began to do some editing on another piece that was almost ready to go in the hopes diverting my attention momentarily would break something loose…
When I first heard that many nonprofit organizations were holding flashmobs to raise awareness of their activities, I realized this would be a great idea for Odyssey. I also had an idea of what we might do: the Tom Bombadil Rap.