…and short stories
I have always ranted about bestselling authors padding their manuscripts. That makes the word ‘bestseller’ dirty. Elmore Leonard was one of few bestselling authors who practiced brevity and didn’t pad. He even said “I try to leave out the parts that people skip.” When you write flash and short stories and the publisher’s limit is a thousand words, you will sometimes find that you have to slash your MS instead of padding it — which is more difficult than padding! I rather have that difficulty than pad my stories.
Writing flash and short is also great for practice if you’re a new writer or a veteran who has been idle a long time. I wonder if we could write and sell a bestseller now without padding like Leonard.
Writing in Past Tense
I posted this discussion on LinkedIn:
“The only living heir was a twenty-year-old.” The author wrote in past tense. So if the heir ‘was’ 20 year old, that would mean he is not 20 now. So why do major publishers favor writing in past tense when the gist would be inaccurate?
This was the best witty answer, from Glynn Smith, so far:
“Story telling relates traditionally to ‘once upon a time’ scenarios. Ten minutes ago I noticed that the only living heir was a 20 year old. In this case ‘once upon a time’ was ten minutes ago which permits the only living heir to have become 20 years old yesterday and therefore they should remain 20 years old for the next 12 months.
I would probably be happier if the only heir was 60 years old as I’m now more familiar with grey heirs. 🙂
I suppose you can write from the present view point like a flow of consciousness live report. It can work well for some scenarios.”
5 Lessons Being a Private Investigator Taught Me About Freelancing
‘There were actually five major lessons I learned that ten years later I still apply in my freelance writing business. Five things that taught me how to survive while chasing the bad guys and almost as scary, surviving the worsening economy as a writer. It’s funny how I got more warnings and advice from people when they found out I was leaving my cushy corporate job for a lifetime of writing than when I told them I was going to take a job as a private investigator. In some people’s eyes, the risks of fulfilling a dream are far greater than the risk of one’s life.
‘If you are on your way to pursuing your own freelance business, read this before you jump in. There are lots of life saving tips here. Take it from a past PI and a current freelancer who has done it before and survived…’
Let’s start a fight on the Internet
‘The Internet must know what we think. It must know about Miley (disrespectful), Syria (what everyone should be talking about), Twitter’s new conversation lines (outrage), and those bloggers we hate (we hate them). These are the fights of the Internet.
‘Our spite improves discussion; our attacks cow the wrong. We criticize the untouchables. So fear not, followers: The arc of the moral universe may be long, but it bends towards us getting lots of faves on Twitter.
‘And to our grandkids, we can proudly say:
We once won a fight on the Internet;
You should have seen us in our prime…’