Saturday, July 12, 2008
Write More Betterer
Lisa awarded me the Pico del'Arte, for which I am *most* stoked! As I understand it, this award is all about inspiration. In that inspiring spirit (and to spend more time with 'The Remarkable Shrinking TBR Pile') , I've decided to emulate the finger pointing at the moon, and direct you to resources that you shall write 'more betterer'.
First, our very own Liz Fenwick has been posting her notes from a recent writing conference. Kate Harrison's Botox for Writers is recounted here, and tips from agent Caroline Sheldon are here.
Both are chock full of great info.
Speaking of great info, the inimitable J.A. Konrath has done it again: The Newbie's Guide to Publishing Book is 750 pages of priceless advice. It's like an MFA in Creative Writing, except that the information comes from someone whose writing actually SELLS, and its contents are stuff you can actually USE!
And for a little extra fun, here's his advice on 'How Not to Start a Story'...
And while I'm thinking about the sort of information MFA programs *should* give out but don't, one bit of advice I see given all to seldom is this: rent lots of DVDs.
That's right, rent lots and lots of DVDs, then sit down and listen to the creator commentaries. You don't even have to watch the movie, just listen to the writer and/or director talk about their storytelling. You can learn from good movies and from bad ones. You can learn from storytellers puzzled at the success/failure of their creations and from those too deluded to see what works. As long as they talk about how and why they told the story the way they did.
Sure, you'll get burned sometimes. Some creators, even writer/directors who had control over the whole project, seem unable to do more than describe the movie as it happens. Yea, Vince, I'm talking about you. Your commentary on The Breakup was like movies for the blind: 'Um, yeah, he's going into the kitchen here. Probably wants a snack. I'm pretty sure they're mad at each other. Looks like they might break up.' Gack.
And on that note, I'm off. Joe Lansdale, Jefferson Parker and Charles DeLint are calling me. In my quest to write more betterer, it's a grand thing indeed to spend time reading the Most Bestest!