Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Lottery Tickets

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, animals both domesticated and wild, rub thy magical blog to receive three wishes.

On good advice from the writer Steve Vernon, I try to think of my work as more of a lottery ticket than a piece of art. Thinking in those terms keeps disappointment to a minimum. Hey, you don't really expect to win the lottery, but if it happens ... So this week I sent out lottery tickets to some of the agents I met at the BEA Conference. All you need is a query and a dream, right?


I'm a big fan of audio books. Because of my schedule and the amount of down time I spend in my car, I always keep my iPod loaded with books. The last few days I've been listening to On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King. I've read the book a few times, but I just got around to listening to the audio version read by King himself. I imagine it's the closest I'll ever get to a personal lecture, and a lot of what King says makes sense. I enjoyed the section on what Hemingway referred to as killing your darlings, or rather cutting out those expository passages that act as a teat for your ego, but offer nothing to the story or the reader. Story always comes first. I also enjoyed when King discuses how writers should keep their desks in the corner of the room, not the center. This is to remind the author that life enhances writing, not the other way around.

The book / audio book is good, not perfect, but good. King uses a lot of filler, especially during the grammar sections where he quotes The Elements of Style way too liberally, and his admiration for such writers like John Grishim comes off like an infomercial. Still, the book is a helpful guide that all aspiring writers, not just fans, should read.

Later Fiends,


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