How Can I Be a Writer? I’m not ____

 

by Morgan S. Hazelwood

How Can I Be a Writer?

There are so many images of writers: smoking, coffee guzzling, depressed alcoholics pouring their hearts and souls into their words. Those grizzled, introverted men who know writing is their raison d’être*, their one, true calling!

I don’t look like that.

I don’t smoke, nor drink coffee**, and I rarely drink alcohol, even socially. I’m about as ungrizzled as a person can be***.

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The Curse of the Backstory

 

by Josh Langston

Of all the story-writing sins committed by beginning writers, by far the worst consists of dumping a trailer-load of backstory on the unsuspecting reader. Fortunately, this error becomes clear almost immediately, at least to the reader.

As an editor, this practice not only makes me cringe, it makes me wonder if the writer has ever actually opened a novel and read it. And by novel, I mean one written by someone with an actual story to tell, who can differentiate between the stuff that interests readers, and the stuff that puts ’em to sleep.

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