Monday, July 21, 2014

For New and Developing Writers Only


I've been interviewed by Carl Slaughter for Diabolical Plots, a genre webzine featuring a great deal of material on the craft of writing.  In this interview, I was not asked about myself, my work, my idiot opinions . . . none of that.  Just about how to write.

I provided, if I may say so, an expletive bleeping lot of information.

Here are a few snippets, presented as if they were excerpted from somebody else's interview:

I’ve watched editors reading slush back in the days when the slush pile was a physical heap of paper, and they would read the first page of a typescript and then flip to the last page.  On the basis of that cursory glimpse, they would then put almost every submission in the reject pile and one or two stories aside to be read all the way through.

Write as best you can and as simply as you can.  That is the whole of the law. 

The thing is that there is not one single skill which we can call “writing”; there’s a large family of related skills which result in superficially similar end-products.  What works for one writer will stop another one dead.

I can honestly say that I’ve never given a moment’s thought to themes, much less reinforcing them. 

When my son was a teenager, he and a friend spent a summer writing a fanfic mashup of two incompatible gaming worlds, and for a year they received more fan letters than I did. 

You can read the interview here.  Or you can just go to Diabolical Plots here and start poking around.

Above:  Me, pontificating.


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