“Who are you anyway? Why do you matter? To me, you don’t matter. I don’t care about you. I exist whether you read me or not. In fact: you can quit reading this book right now, I dare you. I dare you to put this book down and forget about it. I don’t need you. I am the answer to the riddle: if a writer writes a book and no one reads it does it still make a sound? Yes. Yes, I do make a sound.
Do you hear it?” – Christopher Higgs aka Marvin K. Mooney
How can you not continue a book that opens like this?
Currently reading The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby by Tom Wolfe. I have no idea what’s going on, but my god, the words are beautiful.
Ever wonder why are there so many genres of music but not of books? Basic business. The Book Industry Study Group has compiled a list of numbers called BISAC codes, which all published books must be filed under. This makes it easier to market, sell, and stock books based on these categories. And while BISAC codes are always expanding, it is still sad that literary art has to be so confined by the practicality of an old business model. Personally, I’d love to see what a book genre entitled “shimmer pop” or “chilltronica” read like.
You can check out the current BISAC list for Fiction here.
Good writers are good readers.
I never believed in this sentiment. I thought that any story worth telling would pour out of you, unhindered and unadulterated by the influence of others. Until now. Thanks to a fairly intense editing class, I have been force fed an abundance of short stories by American greats, analyzing them to death in quick succession and without time to pause for breath.
I have also started writing short stories, coming out of a year-long writers’ block by breaking into a format I had not seriously attempted before. Coincidence? I think not…
This book absolutely refuses to be any longer than 30 pages. I have been stuck on this chapter for almost a year. There are few things more frustrating…
I am reading a book called Between the Sheets: The Literary Liaisons of Nine 20th Century Women Writers by Lesley McDowell. It delves into the reason behind famous female authors’ dysfunctional relationships with their male literary partners. The reason, McDowell asserts, is that these men encouraged them to write, could have long conversations about writing, understood them.
As much as I like to believe that I would do it differently and put my emotional and mental health ahead of any writerly pride or desire, past and present circumstances indicate otherwise. I know that I would offer up my soul in exchange for a passionate conversation about my craft.
Trying to maintain a story’s mood is like tightrope walking on a spider web – one misstep and the gossamer snaps and you can hear the reader shut the book.
I think there’s this stigma around writing in the same way there is a stigma around being in a relationship. The romantics among us claim that if it’s right, there is no effort, no huge exertion of willpower to make it happen. It was meant to be, and everything will slide into place. If you’re working hard, something’s wrong.
I think most breakups and most unfinished books are victims of this stigma.
This has been a good writing week so far. On Monday, I started a memoir called The Book I Wish I’d Written and got up to almost 3000 words. On Tuesday, me and my writing partner came up with the beginning of a new song for a musical we’re contracted for in June 2015. Today, I decided to forgo a nap and write another chapter to The Book. Over 4000 words and going strong!
Don’t worry about beginning at the beginning. Start where you want to, the part that intrigues you, and then once you’ve immersed yourself in the world, you can go back and fill in the gaps.