Category: writing process

The Rejection Collection

My most recent short story rejection was a “personal” one. The one before that was a form rejection. As were the three before that. I am making progress on my rejection goal. 100 rejections for 2021. Why aim for so many rejections? Am I a masochist? Do I enjoy making myself feel bad? Do I…

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Writing in Bed

The story is that Edith Wharton wrote in bed. Whenever she would finish handwriting a page, she would drop it on the floor. Later, her secretary would gather up the sheets of story and type them. One must have a method. Despite the — dare I say it? — privilege inherent in the image of…

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Edith Wharton on Writing a War Story…or a Love Story…or a Comedic Story…or a Story Story

In September 1919, Woman’s Home Companion published a lovely little nugget of story by Edith Wharton. “Writing a War Story” is the tale of Ivy Spang, a poetess-turned-short-story-writer. Working as a nurse in France during WWI, Miss Spang is commissioned by an editor at the magazine “The Man-at-Arms.” He tells her that he wishes her to…

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Chain Chain Chain

I’ve been a slacker with writing lately.  First, the novel group went on hiatus, which removed my constant impending deadline.  Then, I was looking for a new job, which sucked up oodles of time.  Then, I was moving for the new job and doing all the work that goes along with a move.  Then… I…

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Good Omens/Collaboration

*This week’s Monday post is brought to you early by Really-Busy-Tomorrow Cereal! In a post the other day, Jenny asked me what I thought of our new collaborative adventures. To Jenny, I say, Good Omens. Oh my, how I love when things sync up like that. The book in question is a delightful collaboration between…

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The Great Scroll Experiment!

In honor of Kerouac, and in attempting to learn what I can about writing from him, I spent the better part of yesterday afternoon trying to create my own scroll-of-fiction. First, I gathered my paper (10 sheets…my thought process being that ten sheets of single-spaced typewritten paper made a more-than-decent length short story): Then I…

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Notebooks!!

A book was recently released called Agatha Christie’s Notebooks: Fifty Years of Mysteries in the Making, by John Curran. Check out Curran’s deal: he got to spend hours in a room, pouring over handwritten exercise books, reading page after page of difficult notes, deciphering faded pencil marks, and losing his eyesight while reading Christie’s plots…

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Your Form is Showing, or Is It?

Deciding to plunge forward on a frustrating piece is one of the most difficult, and most common, decisions a writer must make. If a character isn’t cooperating, if a POV isn’t functioning, if there’s that intangible something telling you that the piece is suffering, it can be hard to convince yourself to press on. After…

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