Nathan Scalia's picture
Nathan Scalia from Kansas is reading so many things April 6, 2016 - 6:43am

Every month, I open my inbox to find an email from Dennis (the head of the site) asking all registered columnists to throw out pitches for articles they're interested in writing for the site. If any of you have ever pitched an article before, you know that it's only easy the first three times, and then gets progressively more difficult.

So, in the spirit of inspiration, I wanted to open this thread as a sort of database of column queries that our community is interested in seeing published. We have an astonishing variety of experience in our column staff, so if there is something you'd like to see addressed in column form, chances are we have someone who can oblige. There isn't any guarantee that anyone will bite, especially for questions that are better answered in a forum post, so keep that in mind.

Have at it.

Jose F. Diaz's picture
Jose F. Diaz from Baltimore is reading The Long Dark Tea-time of the Soul by Douglas Adams April 6, 2016 - 8:18am

Ideas for Articles:

Are we still technically in the Post-Modern Era, or have we finally diverged into something not yet defined?

Is writing for a targeted audience merely pandering, or is there a fine gray line?

We can always do with more craft essays. Perhaps ones that are away from the minimalist style. Perhaps also better or best ways to write Act III's or the final chapters of stories, also worded as "Writing conclusions with impact and finesse."

Should writers spend more time reading the classics or contemporary writing?

The P&W ranking list of MFAs was found to be flawed. Why has no one attempted to do it right? Where are the best writers teaching, if they do teach?

How to write a critique that doesn't push your own ideas. (I find I do this and can't seem to help myself.)

How to write essays for scholarships or other funding.

What are the absolute don't do's of writing? Are there any? Or, how to to recognize the boundaries and push/shatter them. That is for people like me who believe there are boundaries. Many would disagree.

Writing atheist stories and breaking out of the religious paradigm.

How to mix and match genres with clarity and style.?

What are things that every writer should know?

Finances. I always here it is a big deal with lots of pitfalls. How to manage income from selling stories? Are there W-2's, are taxes annually or quarterly? (Perhaps the least sexy thing about being a writer, and probably one of the most important considering that failure to do it right can lead you right back into working for The Man.)

Is poetry dead and hasn't recognized its decaying corpse? Where have the epic poets gone? Where are the stories in verse?

How to properly write collaboratively?

Top Ten list of things never to say or ask a writer. Not joking, but seriously. Joking is too easy to dismiss.

Why are writing contests important? If at all.

What are the most prestigious literary journals? Top 10/50/100? We may like to say all are equal, but some are a bigger deal than others, we know it, but we may not like to say it out loud.

I have a lot more, but I guess this will do for now.

TheScrivener's picture
TheScrivener from Seattle is reading short stories April 8, 2016 - 9:19am

Sort of following up on what Jose pitched--how to write critique that does not push your own ideas--how about, stratigies for how to take a critique. Like, how do you know what type of feedback hints at problems in your work versus feedback that might just be a difference of vision, and therefore, maybe, could be ignored. "How to take criticism, but stay true to your vision." or something. 

With so many stories being published online, I wonder if there would be interest in some sort of more directed reading activity---like pairing a short craft technique article with a link to a story that illustrates that technique. 

CS's picture
CS from Biloxi, MS is reading Zen in the Art of Writing: Essays on Creativity April 8, 2016 - 9:22am

More lists. I need, nay, yearn for more lists.

I'd also like to see something akin to the "How Did This Get Made" podcast, but instead of movies, books are dissected.

Brandon's picture
Brandon from KCMO is reading The Last Projector April 8, 2016 - 11:11am

@CS

To the tune of: the book is so bad how did it get made?

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal April 8, 2016 - 8:12pm

How about...

Putting It All Together. Turning your WIP manuscript full of cool scenes and good ideas into a fine-tuned, polished and publishable novel.

Nathan Scalia's picture
Nathan Scalia from Kansas is reading so many things April 12, 2016 - 9:03am

Dennis just sent this thread out to all our columnists with the suggestion that they take a look, so consider this the official LitReactor request line. All eyes on you, loves.

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated April 16, 2016 - 4:29am

I'd love to see something on computer monitors. I know trying to write and stare at this thing can be tough on my eyes. Reviewing author's second books would be awesome.

fozia5's picture
fozia5 May 4, 2016 - 9:44pm

About writing whats coming in my mind!

just try to write ok just write focusing on the topic and forget the rest world and when you will stop it there would be hundred of lines written by you than sort them and get them ready to publish anywhere :)

smithreynolds's picture
smithreynolds from Spokane, WA USA is reading The writing on the wall. June 24, 2016 - 6:27am

Nathan, 

I just had a strange, unsettling experience of reading a column, getting into a  stupid, argument/debate/bloodbath, feeling like an idiot and reevaluating my own critical spirit, and the things that I see posted, and that I have posted myself. It felt like a verbal sado masochist session complete with leather and whips. All good stuff I guess if somewhat confusing, and you like to be whipped. Personally being dominated mades me sad, and I try to avoid it. I might have expected it, given this is a "genre" site. I am still figuring out what that means. What "genre" means. 

I felt like I was ambushed in that scenario. It felt like one of those stupid experiments that some psychology professor might set up, to see if he could get his students to behave like Nazi's if he pressed them into certain corners and pushed certain buttons. It felt like entrapment and misuse of power. 

So. Here is the column I would like to see: What is Trolling?  and what is our responsibility in the context of a creative space to maintain a safe creative space. Is Litreactor a safe creative space. Maybe not. I never heasrd the term trolling until yesterday.