Saturday, September 19, 2009
Words of Wisdom:
I write for the same reason I breathe - because if I didn't, I would die.
The difference between perseverance and obstinacy is that one comes from a strong will, and the other comes from a strong won't.
~Henry Ward Beecher
If you write one story, it may be bad; if you write a hundred, you have the odds in your favor.
~Edgar Rice Burroughs
The reason 99% of all stories written are not bought by editors is very simple. Editors never buy manuscripts that are left on the closet shelf at home.
~John W. Campbell
Short stories are designed to deliver their impact in as few pages as possible. A tremendous amount is left out, and a good short story writer learns to include only the most essential information.
~Orson Scott Card
The man with insight enough to admit his limitations comes nearest to perfection.
~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
From people who know:
Books aren't written, they're rewritten. Including your own. It is one of the hardest things to accept, especially after the seventh rewrite hasn't quite done it...
As with all other aspects of the narrative art, you will improve with practice, but practice will never make you perfect. Why should it? What fun would that be?
A Final thought:
A short story can be held in the mind all in one piece. It's less like a building than a fiendish device. Every bit of it must be cunningly made and crafted to fit together perfectly and without waste so it can perform its task with absolute precision. That purpose might be to move the reader to tears or wonder, to awaken the conscience, to console, to
gladden, or to enlighten. But each short story has one chief purpose, and every sentence, phrase, and word is crafted to achieve that end. The ideal short story is like a knife - strongly made, well balanced, and with an absolute minimum of moving parts.