How to write more in 2013:
Write from the heart, life is too short to follow trends, to chase what’s hot today. Though if from the heart comes the next paranormal, dystopian, fantasy, erotic bondage adventure, I won’t argue!
Return to short stories. Read over the holidays: Object Lessons-- The Paris Review presents the art of the short story (a great read for new writers - FREE excerpt available at the Paris Review website);The Best American Short Stories edited by Tom Perrotta; Dear Life by Alice Munro; Astray by Emma Donoghue, and The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories 2012. Plan to re-read some of the classics by Flannery O’Connor and Sherwood Anderson next. Any other suggestions?
I love the completeness of short stories – both from the reader’s perspective and the writer’s. What do I mean by this – a novel is a marriage, a short story is a date, fun and over at the end of the night. Not that it doesn’t take a good while to write a good short story, it does. I am still working at the long-term marriage, but right now, I need the gratification of a few wild dates.
Start with a character -- that you know inside and out, that you can describe from head to toe, whose emotional core you can write about for pages, and write at least one page on that character. "Character is the very life of fiction," from John Gardner is a quote I have above my desk.
How to start anything? Don’t obsess. Remember: the first draft of anything is “shit.” Ernest Hemingway said that. I have it above my desk too.
Are you ready for 2013?
And coming in 2014… my new novel from St. Martin’s Press… BEFORE MY EYES.