Which of Chuck P.'s 36 craft essays do you find most useful?
Submerging the "I" -- I find it's the most common type of edit for me, taking the I/me/my out of a sentence and re-wording. Great to bear this one in mind.
Using on-the-body physical sensation -- Something my writing really lacks. When a paragraph seems to be missing something, I will go over it and look to add to a description using textures, smells, etc.
Establishing authority -- I feel I almost knew this one intuitively prior to reading the essay. I like to make my characters know-it-alls. But the "heart" vs "head" distinction is really insightful.
Beware the thesis statement -- Huge for me. My characters have a tendency to get a bit too know-it-all-y, so I keep this one in mind. Unpack. Show, don't tell. So simple but so easy to miss if you don't know what to look for.
And one that doesn't really click with me no matter how hard I try....
Developing a theme -- I find it difficult to keep this in mind while writing fiction. Way too much other stuff to worry about. Plus, I find that if I'm doing a good job of everything else, then a theme will sort of come about organically.
They are very helpful but I think most of them are just reference points to use as workshop jargon in our reviews. What is your favorite Clevenger Essay?
Submerge the "I", On the Body, Establishing Authority, and "Thought" verbs (I think of them as: No "I", body, heart, head, and 'ego' verbs) are the 4 essays I reference most often in the critiques I do.
I'm also a big fan of the Body Language essay and one of the stocking stuffers "2) Your audience is smarter and harder to shock than you think. Don't be afraid to try things."
As for Clevenger's, his "Going the Distance" essay where he gives the advice about writing two word summaries of each paragraph. I think about it every time I rewrite, now.
Going on the body - hands down. That one is pure gold.
As for Clevenger - all of them. That man is a loremaster.
Apparently I use a lot of "shark music" like the theme from Jaws which is prewarning your reader ahead of time about something...
"Suddenly there was...."
"All of a sudden..."
Hiding a gun is a good one, too. I find it's an easier lesson to apply. I'm working several hidden guns into a story I'm working on now. Not difficult in terms of making adjustments. Just one or two good ideas and it's done.
Submerging the I -- fuck. I can re-write a paragraph three or four times, easily, trying to get rid of I/me/my/etc.
Those dirty pronouns. I wonder if the essays on here are as helpful as an MFA. I mean strictly on the basis of skills. I think they are but I couldnt say because I'm not an MFA grad.
Have to agree with bryanhowie. I keep going back to the same essays, but for myself, not reviews.
I think those four essays alone took my writing up several notches.
Go fuck yourself, William.
worst spam ever - Renfield was too polite.
I slept with your wife, William. That's why she's been walking with a limp.
Yeah, you suck, invisible person whose post I cannot see. I thumb my nose at you!
I said, "GOOD DAY, SIR!"
I don't know what's transpired here, bit since I started this thread...
Let's fight, me and you, after school. At the baseball diamond.
No groin shots or weapons. This shits going on youtube.
Now it just looks like I had a schizo break up there. Get out of my freaking head, William!