April 13, 2016

“Why We Write” An editorial by Lloyd Prentice

“Why We Write” An editorial by Lloyd Prentice

Why We Write Words flit in and out of our awareness like fish in shoals— many so drab we scarcely pay attention; others teach us or guide us, imbue memory and behavior like computer code. Some few— some few inspire us, change us in subtle and striking ways, play on our minds and emotions like a maestro on a concert grand. These words, by and large, are invisible to the eye. They slip through and resonate, indeed explode, at the deepest levels of our being. Words that matter are the product of disciplined study and practice— hard won. At best— an art. Words that matter are most often composed in solitude over lonely hours. Every serious writer I’d venture yearns to tame the ineffable, express the inexpressible with elegance and beauty. Writers of non-fiction weave…

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March 20, 2016

“In Praise of Editing” by Sam Henrie

“In Praise of Editing” by Sam Henrie

A few weeks ago, I began mulling over an editorial blog concerning editing. I’d begun noticing, in published reviews, more criticism for novels that had multiple typos, misspellings and syntax errors. I even wrote a first draft. Then I received Wheatmark Publishing’s monthly “Marketing Newsletter” with an essay by Sam Henrie, Wheatmark’s publisher. It was far better than anything I had come up with, so I asked Wheatmark for permission to reprint. The bottom line is this: readers notice wordsmithing errors. Content may be king, but it needs editing, its queen. For all you writers, both aspiring and published alike, here is Sam’s editorial, in its entirety. In Praise of Editing by Sam Henrie Years ago I was reading the bestselling A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson (on which the 2015 motion picture…

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February 22, 2016

“To Write, To Grow Up” by Rachael Allen

“To Write, To Grow Up” by Rachael Allen

Editor’s Note: Guest Blogger Rachael Allen talks about her experience in Creative Writing Classes.   * * * A good creative writing class feels a bit like growing up. You arrive eager and breathy, whipping out efforts that while earnest are lacking. You listen and admire and emulate. You judge and then learn to empathize. You make friends and feel vulnerable and must continually prove yourself. Through these efforts, if you write and write and write, you hopefully come out with a better sense of yourself and a fat folder of writing on your desktop. I started taking creative writing classes in high school, my school luckily being one with the funds and interest to have an arts program. That class didn’t feel like an academic space; rather, it was a space for me and…

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February 9, 2016

A. J. Sidransky On Writing: Crime Fiction or Otherwise

A. J. Sidransky On Writing: Crime Fiction or Otherwise

Editor’s Note: Fictional Café member A. J. Sidransky shares some stories and wisdom from his writing experience. Enjoy! * * * From the time I was a teenager I wanted to be a writer. When I was 17 years old, graduating high school and heading off to college, my parents asked me, “What do you want to do? What do you want to study?” I said I wanted to study English and I wanted to be a writer. “No, no, no, no,” they said. “You need to be able to earn a living and support a family.” I spent more than thirty miserable years in the real estate finance business. Thank god for the great recession. The first thing I will tell you is that a writer, regardless of genre, has to write. If you…

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