Ventriloquist’s Dummy (or “Watch the Hands There, Buddy”)

It’s Friday and I don’t have too much to say for myself, so I’ll take the easy way out and let others do the talking for me…

Writing Advice

Christie Craig gives us “Five Pieces of Well-Meaning Writing Advice That I’m Glad I Didn’t Take“.  My favorite is “Learn the writing rules and follow them”.  Being a bit of an OCD librarian (and a cataloger at that), I really dig following the rules.  However, as a writer, I want to create without being fettered.  I’ve come to the conclusion that the key is not breaking the rules out of ignorance but with a purpose.  This runs parallel to what Craig says which is “Basically, I recommend that when you bend a rule, you know why the rule is in place and protect your work from suffering from this breach.”

Joe Moore, over at The Kill Zone, discusses one of my many faults: editing as you go.  Here he discusses the problem with perfectionism in young writers and its ability to kill your story before it’s even finished.  I am the world’s worst at trying to edit my work as I go.  I have this ingrained vision of, once I type my final word, printing out my masterpiece and wowing the masses with my wit and intelligence.  There’s a word for that here in Texas and it rhymes with bullchit.  Moore also offers some sound advice in goal-setting (another fault of mine that you’re more than likely tired of hearing about).   He wraps up with the point in a nutshell: “So don’t worry about perfection.  Work at telling a good story.” 

Rejection

Ah, rejection.  Something we know nothing about here in the Serial Distractions underground bunker/bar & grill.  Well, maybe a little.  Cassandra Jade shares some of her thoughts on the fear and avoidance that writers often experience at the thought of having their work seen by others.  Her post was inspired by Cat Woods’ excellent “Strap on Your Writing Helmet” post.  This is something I can completely relate to: not only in a professional sense but with people I know “for realz” as well.  I think my wife is the only person I know that has read all of the stories the I’ve been sending out for publication.  In some ways I’m afraid that my friends will read them and will burst my fragile little glass ego-house.  Yep, I’m a veritable smorgasbord of insecurities.  Let’s move on!

Motivation

Ah, motivation.  My nemesis.  The Luthor to my Kal-El.  The heel to my Achilles.  It takes every ounce of my willpower pool (more a puddle, really) to get me to sit down and put words to the virtual page.  But once I’m there, I enjoy it.  I create, I play, and hours pass away.  Ollin Morales addresses this phenomenon in this brilliant guest post for “Like a Bowl of Oranges“.  Morales points out that while love of writing will inspire you in the long-term, it just doesn’t cut it in the short-term.  Life happens.  Excuses accumulate.  Motivation and love are simply not the same things.  Luckily, he presents some tried-and-true tips to get you (and, maybe even me) into that writer’s chair.  Another inspiring post by K. M. Weiland reminds us that none of us writers knows what we’re doing.  So don’t get hung up on the fact that you’re feeling your through the process.  And, by all means, don’t use it as an excuse to not keep plugging away at your writing.   Mur Lafferty also reminds us to take what we do have and write it anyway.  And if it isn’t loved right away, fix it.  I love this quote:  “So you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. But you can make something that will hold change. And that’s better than nothing.” 

Miscellaneous

Here are some bits I came across that I thought interesting but are not easily cataloged (here we are running up against that OCD-cataloger thing again…):

I reviewed Lou Antonelli‘s collection Fantastic Texas here not too long ago.  I really enjoy catching him at panel discussions at the few cons I get to attend.  Here’s some video of Mr. Antonelli talking about Fantastic Texas, his writing, Martians in East Texas, and other topics.  BTW: It really is Lou, not Lon.

SlushPile Hell is an incredibly fun site that posts some of the most humorous and mind-bogglingly fail-heavy queries sent to an actual publishing agent.  The moral of the story: don’t be these people.

Do you like Twitter?  Do you write mystery or suspense?  Would you like to try? Forever Nocturne is hosting a “Twitter Me Not” contest.  Take their prompts and run with them, crafting a 2500 word (max.) story about a serial killer who stalks via Tweets. 

Australian speculative fiction author Rowena Cory Daniells has crafted this brilliantly well-researched overview of fantasy and its popularity at the Australian Literature Review

Well, I guess that’s about it for this installment.  Time to go back into my box…but not until I creep people out like only a little wooden man can….

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About Shedrick

I am a professional librarian and a part-time writer that's working to do that the other way around. I currently live in North Texas in the lovely city of Denton (“The Home of Happiness“) with my lovely wife and the obligatory demon-spawn cats. When not writing, gaming, or watching cheezy kung-fu flicks, I can sometimes be found in a pub (or the American equivalent) enjoying a fine brew.
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