Coronavirus Part 2, Day 31- Writing Projects

This weekend I sent off my a draft of a novel that I’ve been working on to an editor. There’s this great quote by Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451) in which he says, “Write a short story every week. It’s not possible to write 52 bad short stories in a row.”

After hitting this milestone of having refined my first manuscript to the point where I’m willing to pay for editorial services, I have learned two things:

1. Ray Bradbury knows what he’s talking about.

2. Fiction and non-fiction are very different skill sets.

To Ray Bradbury’s point, I admit that making my first long form written project a novel, was a reach. For a novice, there’s a ton I had to actively think about, from the technical skill of writing prose, to global story telling elements, plot and character development, world building, etc. One idea that explains why it was only enjoyable in spurts is Flow State, which I was mostly not in. That’s because a barrier to achieving Flow State is that one must have a good balance between the perceived challenges of the task and one’s own perceived skills. A person must have confidence he or she will complete the task at hand. I suppose I knew I would get to here, but all feels like heading into the unknown.

Cat reps

To play devil’s advocate, the problem with Bradbury’s advice of writing a bunch of short stories, for me anyway, is where to submit them? The New Yorker? Not likely. I guess one could blog them, but that’s not the expectation for this genre. For me, unless I’m journaling, I have a hard time writing things I know no one will ever read.

To my second lesson learned, the two glaring differences I see between fiction and non-fiction is that in fiction writing, the game is being very good at creating worlds in which the literary devices add up to something interesting and novel and true. In non-fiction writing, the game is being creative in taking seemingly disparate data points, identifying those data points, and connecting them in a way that reveal a larger picture or explain a phenomena. All things being equal, the writing is the least of it. The differentiator lies in creative abilities.

For now, I’m waiting for my editor to send me a contract so we can get this show on the road. Some part of me feels like I’m back in high school waiting to get a written assignment back from my teacher. But that’s okay, this will be a good experience. And it’s cheaper than an Master of Fine Arts degree.

3 thoughts

  1. Hola DianaX,

    Recently, I penned a complaint letter detailing the actions pursued by a particular apartment manager in having my car illegally towed and having my car’s battery stolen, both while my vehicles were legally parked in the parking area of the property she is employed to manage.

    First, I sent my letter to the police, hoping they would represent me in hauling her sorry ass to jail for the weekend and letting her know what it was like to cough up large sums of money, besides being severely inconvenienced.

    The police decided that I may have a civil case, even though what she did to me was definitely criminal. I believe if there is not sufficient signage or pavement marking advising me to park elsewhere, the exact same parking space I had been using for more than a year, should not suddenly become off limits due to a mood.

    Anyway, I gave a copy of my letter to some important editor type at the Baytown Sun, our local ten-page rag, and then forgot about it.

    During the past couple of days, a friend of mine, whose apt. I had been visiting when my cars had been vandalized, stopped in to the orifice to inquire something from Liliana, the culprit. Word has come that tow away in chief is no longer employed at the apartments.

    Now, I don’t know if her superiors read the Baytown Sun newspaper and decided to oust her and to bid her farewell, but imagining my letter had that effect is a great comfort to me.

    May your writing stir events in your life as well!

    Alex

    On Tue, Jun 2, 2020 at 19:21 Web Diary of a Somebody wrote:

    > dianaxmoga posted: ” This weekend I sent off my a draft of a novel that > I’ve been working on to an editor. There’s this great quote by Ray Bradbury > (Fahrenheit 451) in which he says, “Write a short story every week. It’s > not possible to write 52 bad short stories in a row.” ” >

    Liked by 1 person

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