Quoth Anonymous: I know we’re not supposed to ask this because it seems amateurish, but where do you get your ideas? There’s a certain kind of writer bully who loudly pretends that “professionals” like them don’t have the luxury of ideas: they just sit down and invent a character and go. Hey, dumbfuck. That’s an … Continue reading “Sigh. Where Do You Get Ideas?”
Quote Too Broke: I’m a pretty disciplined guy and I do some writing before or after work almost every day, but I feel like I’m missing something that maybe I could get from a workshop or MFA. The problem is that I can’t afford either one. What do you suggest for people kind of striking … Continue reading “The Will Ludwigsen Broke-Ass Writer’s MFA Program”
Quoth Not Having Fun: A lot of the time, I find the act of writing to be pretty much agonizing. I mean, not like “severe acid burn” agonizing, but at least unpleasant enough to make me not want to do it. I know we’re all told that good things are difficult and work is work, … Continue reading “Shouldn’t This Be…Fun?”
Quoth ANONYMOUS: PHENOMENAL WEBSITE. PHENOMENAL. I WORRY SOMETIMES THAT MY PURSUIT OF THE VIOLENT AND NUMINOUS MYSTERIES OF THE SHADOW-SICK HUMAN HEART MAY ALIENATE MAINSTREAM AUDIENCES. HOW DO I WRITE MORE APPROACHABLY WITHOUT FEEDING PABLUM TO THE MASSES? I’LL TAKE MY ANSWER OFF THE AIR. Thank you for the insightful question. I think that’s something … Continue reading “How Do I Stay Edgy But Keep Readers?”
Quoth Anonymous: Sometimes people refer to “turning a corner” in the writing of their fiction, like they’re leveling up. What does that mean and how do I do it on purpose? Wow, Anonymous, you’ve eerily picked the exact best moment to ask this question because fifteen years ago on this very day, I submitted a … Continue reading “How Can I Level Up in My Work?”
Quoth Anonymous: How do I balance the amount of description and dialogue and thoughts and things in my fiction? I feel like I go on a tear and overdo one way over the others for long passages. You know how after a plane crashes, the National Transportation Safety Board assembles whatever pieces they recover in … Continue reading “Why Do My Stories Feel All Out of Balance?”
Quoth Don: How often do you approach the box where you keep your past works (I can hear the creaking of the chest as you open it) and revisit writing that was rejected to improve your writing now? Good question, Don! My general feeling with rejected stories is that once they’re gone, they’re gone. By … Continue reading “What Do You Do with Rejected Stories?”
Quoth Tyler: My hooman is normally quite considerate. But there are these times when he begins writing and forgets it is treat time! I stride into the room and he ignores my efforts to remind him of his sacred duty–I bump his leg, I stretch up to tap his arm, I even mew, but the … Continue reading “Why Hooman Love Write More than Me?”
Quoth at least five students from every semester I taught: I want to be a writer. Should I major in English? (Or, the heartbreaking variant, “I switched my major to English because of you!”) Despite what generations of angry blue-collar fathers have told their first-generation college children, a degree in English isn’t necessarily a vow … Continue reading “Should I Major in English?”
Quoth “Serling”: I have long struggled with committing myself to any one idea. I’ve finished some stories but most were long ago. Ideas are not a problem; but as soon as I start working on one my enthusiasm dwindles and I abandon the tale for another. So I never accomplish much. How can I remain … Continue reading “How Do I Stick with a Story Even When It Seems to Suck?”
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