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Monday, January 31, 2011

Frozen in Time

It was one of those moments that made time disappear, he watching his lover's eyes, and they watching back.

"What do you think we should do?" he finally asked.

Alice skewered her husband with a chilly glare. "Do whatever you want," she frosted, "but I'm getting a good divorce lawyer."

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Bliss, Blindness, and Bankruptcy

The wedding was golden, signaling the end of her brief enslavement to the inherited tax debt. Del Arnes walked in vibrant style afterward, flowers in the air and her savior on her arm. Joshua smiled as the limo pulled away. He finally had a means of saving his failing enterprise.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Dances with Trafficks

Edward hated sales calls with Karen, especially in Washington. The roads were convoluted and the two were stranded. "We can't wait around," nagged Karen. "We'll miss our call." Edward slammed out of the car and jogged for the next station.

Ben's truck got him first... he didn't look both ways.

Reflections on the Trade Skills of the Woodcutter (the mini-saga, Vol II)

Even the simplest trade conveys a great many skills. Take the humble Woodcutter, who must know the length of his ax, which end to hold, with which end to cut, and so forth. Such knowledge is imperative not only when chopping trees, but also when set upon by  large bears...

Ok, supposing it's not a bad attempt, but does it really qualify as a whole story? It seems to lack an ending. As a writer,  how much can I leave to the reader's imagination?

The Mini-Saga

In order to be a writer, you've got to write. In order to write successfully, you've got to write consistently. For those of us who are short on time and/or attention span, this is a potential problem. With a life full of Everything Else going on, how do you make time to develop a new habit like consistent writing?

In A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future, Daniel Pink describes the mini saga, an abbreviated story which consists of exactly fifty words. It may sound like a strange idea at first, but consider this: the strange and unusual have a habit of stoking creativity and melting away writer's block. The strange and unusual are often what make for interesting storytelling, and if you can write a coherent sentence, you can write a fifty word story.

The mini saga is a very useful tool for developing consistent writing habits. A full story in exactly fifty words. What's yours?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Writer's First Rule

I'm not sure specifically how many rules writers have. That's probably because we don't all have the same rulebook. But ask any successful writer what exactly it is that successful writers do, and they'll all eventually tell you the same thing: writers write! So to be a successful writer, you have to write, right?

Unfortunately, writing is also something that many unsuccessful writers do as well. So what's the difference between a "bad" writer and a "good" writer? Think about it for a moment or three.
It's not quite as easy to answer that question unless you are (or know) a successful writer, is it? I suppose we can call it the Writer's Second Rule: Successful writers sell their work. To do this we have to give readers what they want to read, buyers what they want to buy, and editors what they want to edit. Yes?

I've noticed as well that the best of those sell themselves as well as their work. This is a process that the marketing world calls self-branding.

Just some food for thought. I could elaborate, but tonight this blog is about the writer's first rule: actual writing. We can figure out the rest of the rules some other time, no? Now, to quote Sinclair Lewis: "Why aren't you all at home writing?"