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A.F. Stewart, aka @Scribe77, did me.
Interviewed me, I mean.
We talked about
- The differences between writing short stories and novels (not much from a crafting standpoint, me thinks)
- Creating sympathetic villains (even the worst person has one humanizing detail)
- Genre writing (I don’t believe I write in a genre. My regular readers tell me my genre is “Joseph”)
- My incredible anthology, Tales Told ‘Round Celestial Campfires
- Being able to do amazing things with words when you’re an author
- The link between Satan and Hamilton Burger
- Getting kudos from your readers
- Ritchie and Phyl, my incredible work in progress
- How writing Flash fiction is like building a ship in a bottle
- Great Opening Lines
- My incredible scifi/military/thriller, The Augmented Man
- Writing about characters rather than genre (the story comes first, the genre comes second)
- Empty Sky and my standing offer; read the book, leave a review, and I’ll send you an autographed copy of the rewrite when it’s published.
- Children growing up
- Stories that grew out of my anthropology studies – Mani He and The Goatmen of Aguirra
- Getting kudos from editors and publishers
- Writing almost fantastic fantasies (okay, the story’s fantastic. It uses almost fantasy elements – The Weight)
So, yeah, we covered a few things.
A Writer’s Mechanic’s Manual for Any Car on the Road
Okay, first thing and before anything else, Get This Book!
I don’t care where you are in your writing career, Rita Mae Brown’s Starting from Scratch will give you a chuckle (several hundred, probably) and clarify things that were not only muddy, but had been pushed aside because they were just too damn hard to figure out.
Worry no more, Rita’s got you covered.
I didn’t know who Rita Mae Brown was until a friend suggested I give her a read. This was back in the early-mid 1980s. He thought she was brilliant and hilarious.
That didn’t tempt me.
Then he told me she could benchpress 225#.
Yes, I was that much of an assh?le (may still be) that that caught my interest.
But I didn’t pick up one of her books (that I remember) until my first go-round as a writer. That book being Starting from Scratch.
Reading the book recently, it’s obvious I had read it at least once before; there were highlights in it. There were highlights of concepts I remember, if not exact phrasings. Truth be told, I was probably unprepared for the book when I first read it (my copy was published in Feb 1988). I’m glad I kept it around.
Starting from Scratch is a mechanic’s manual of the English language. Brown explains the purpose of first v third person POV with duh! level examples and lots of them. Ditto subjunctive case (trust me, you need to read this section). Ditto strong v weak verbs (another must read). Imagine someone showing you a crescent wrench and a 9/16″ box-end, showing you they can do the same thing, then demonstrating why one works better on these types of nuts, the other works better on those types of nuts.
Her Exercises chapter…remember what I wrote above about being impressed by her bench? Here’s your cardio and resistance training in one incredible package.
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