Craig Clevenger's picture
Craig Clevenger from Joshua Tree, CA October 1, 2011 - 3:49pm

I’ll be teaching soon enough over here and, as Mark V. can attest, I’ve enough lecture material from my sundry intensives at the Cult to make for a small book on the craft; most of it remains proprietary for workshop students, although one or two have been made available to the general public (the latter will be moved to this site in due course, I assume). While it’s easy enough to teach my established curriculum, I’d like to add some new material or, at very least, get an idea from everyone what kind of things you’d like to learn in a workshop. For the uninitiated, here’s a rundown of my primary course material from the past:

• The Devil in the Details

A primer on writing descriptions. In brief, a good description uses whatever details are necessary to assemble a vivid image for the reader. But a great description uses as few details as possible, pitting them against each other to evoke an image from the reader’s own imagination.

(This essay was made public, but I still use it in workshops from time to time.)

• This is a Bloke You Know

Status, Part I: Verbal Transactions

• Two Guys Walk into a Bar

Status, Part II: Non-Verbal Transactions

This topic has become the centerpiece of my classes. It’s a (very long) two-part essay on status play, a concept I’ve taken from improv theater and applied to writing dialogue, as well as character body language and behavior. This one isn’t going anywhere; it’s probably the one area which is brand new to most of my students. I love teaching this topic, so I’m looking forward to rolling it out again.

• Shit Happens

This is a basic lesson on moving stories forward, with material collected from theater, screenwriting and prose writing. It’s all about what to do when you don’t know what to do next. Pretty straightforward stuff.

• The Rest

The remaining lectures from the original six-week intensive on the Cult (along with a few other public essays that you’ll see here soon enough) all address editing and rewriting from a different angle. One or two of them involve a set of checklists I made for myself a while back, but I’ll likely dispense with these for a number of reasons (e.g., I don’t use literal checklists anymore, and I don’t want to put forth the idea that there’s some sheet of boxes to be ticked off one by one that will magically transform your prose). That said, the ideas in those essays, as well as the other non-classroom essays, cover a range of things such as editing in layers (i.e., not trying to rewrite everything at once), checking story structure, minding fluxuating verb tenses, deep syntax editing for certain troublemaker words or sentence structures… the list goes on, and I’ll likely be adding more essays to this mix.

With all of that in mind...

What else are you looking to learn?

What specific writing subject you’d like to see covered in depth?

If you could dictate your own course topic, what would it be?

Fire away… I’d love to have my first workshop on LitReactor have some brand new material.

Cheers,

- Craig

Chester Pane's picture
Chester Pane from Portland, Oregon is reading The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz October 1, 2011 - 4:27pm

 Hey Craig,

I have read quite a few of your essays including the status one you mentioned and they helped me see that somewhat 'silent' tool for the first time. So thanks for those.

I am always looking at how to create more tension and hold the reader hostage by employing it.

Rhythm is another tricky skill that seems difficult to master.

I don't know how much of style and voice is a teachable writing subject, but as it's so crucial to producing compelling and original work, that is an area that continually interests me.

Course Topic: Hooking your reader and keeping them hooked?


So many more, I am sure I will revisit to add to this.

Thanks,

Chester

 

OCarberry's picture
OCarberry October 1, 2011 - 4:35pm

The two main issues I seem to have when I'm writing are that I 1. lose interest in an idea becasue I've already come up with another one and want to go off and explore that new little idea/toy that I've discovered, and 2. I have this great image in my head, but when I sit down to write it, it comes out very very slow because I'm not quite sure how to say it and I try to do it the exact right way first all the time. 

 

I guess it would be, how do you get ideas flowing onto the paper without getting hung up on form or style or word choice, etc., and how do you keep those ideas fresh and exciting not only to the reader, but to yourself? 

 

Thanks, and I think it's amazing what you're doing here. :)

iBronco's picture
iBronco from New Jersey is reading White Noise October 1, 2011 - 6:45pm

There are many ways authors go about writing a novel. Some have an idea and work through it, exploring the story and characters just as instantaneous as the reader would. Others plan, outline, create character biographies, have a clear idea what the next chapter will be up until the very end. I'm sure there is no wrong way to start a new piece of work and dependant on personal preference, but as with baseball, anyone can swing a bat, but hitting a ball over the fence takes preperation and a certain set of mechanical mastery. How do you prepare before setting fingers to the keys? What method--if you have one--works for you? 

I second OCarberry.

Charles's picture
Charles from Portland is reading Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones October 1, 2011 - 9:27pm

craig,

im always looking for smoother sexier, more refined writing that reads fast and dirty. im always looking to learn different mechanics, like your routine essay from the last intensive, but what i need in my writing life is consistant production meets reinforcement, and leads to publication.

 

also, i can attest that craig will liquify your brain, even if you've heard about his essays or read similar ones before. there's something about working with and around someone of craig's quality and class that pushes you. no matter who you are.

Liana's picture
Liana from Romania and Texas is reading Naked Lunch October 1, 2011 - 11:01pm

I know this may sound a bit off, but my biggest problem is how to make the jump from writing for yourself to writing for an audience. I don't know if that can be taught, but I always wonder how one can tell what the readers will like, as opposed to something you wrote and like. I've had experiences where I really liked the way something I wrote came out, and it fell flat with most people reading it. I'm sure it's a difficult issue to address or it's one of those "intangibles"? On the other hand I have very little willingness to choose a style or a topic based on "what's in" or "what the market demands" - but I still want to know if there are ways to step out of yourself after you wrote something and see it with a reader's eyes. Not saying there should be a whole course about that but if that's something that can be addressed somehow, I'd like to learn it.

Charles's picture
Charles from Portland is reading Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones October 1, 2011 - 11:08pm

@liana: the concept of what you write v what people will pay for is completely subjective. i, for instance will not ever read a celebrity biography. but someone will. basically, dont concern yourself with that. write the book you want to see on the shelf, and someone else will want to read it. all i can say to do or not do, is to make sure you're writing more than a well punctuated, ranting blog post. and you'll be fine. that's a good starting point, in my opinion, anyway.

 

sorry to thread-jack you, craig....

Craig Clevenger's picture
Craig Clevenger from Joshua Tree, CA October 1, 2011 - 11:37pm

Thanks, everyone... Liana, Charles, OCarberry, iBronco and Chester. I'll see what I can come up with; even if I don't build course material around any of these topics, I'll at least see if I can address them in the boards.

Anyone else?

-Craig

P.S. If I've neglected to send anyone a friend request, or if you haven't sent me one, please do so. I like having more friends than Dennis. (insert evil chuckling...)

fummeltunte's picture
fummeltunte from Seattle is reading The Left Hand of Darkness October 1, 2011 - 11:45pm

Moving plot. It's has always been the my weakest point. I feel very at home when it comes to creating characters, but they usually wanna sit around and talk. I have a difficult time thinking of actions to drive them, and drives for them to act on. Whew. 

David Paul's picture
David Paul from Greenwich, CT is reading The Raw Shark Text October 2, 2011 - 12:34am

Craig, first let me say how great it is to have you here and searching for input to help us all out .  For that, I'm grateful.

Two immediate questions come to mind:

1) How does everyone keep their thoughts organized?  I have volumes of note books with great ideas and quotes jotted down that will never see the light of day.  I'm working on one story, but I get a flood of ideas for a different situation and scribble down the the outline somewhere, never to find it again.  I have scraps of papers and files and research and articles and notes... the pile is overwhelming.  I guess my problem is that I don't think in a linear manner... I can't just start one project, outline it, and pump it out until it's done.  I keep multiple lines of thought going at once, and therefore none of them move forward.  Maybe it's time to share more details about your black Moleskin notebook.

2) Perfectionism is killing my writing. My background is such that nothing short of perfection was demanded... everything was right or wrong, with no grey area... but obviously that doesn't apply to art.  I need to get over myself and just shit out that first draft. Instead I re-write one paragraph for hours if not days until it loses it's meaning and puts more pressure on myself for the 'perfect' wording and grammar.  By that point, I've lost my thought or my motivation and just hate myself more.  So maybe something on the 'habits' of writers or their psychology to keep them from editing line by line might be helpful.

Or maybe I'm just too nuts to save.  

Either way, thank you again for all of your help.  

Dave

 

aliensoul77's picture
aliensoul77 from a cold distant star is reading the writing on the wall. October 2, 2011 - 12:40am

Craig:   Well, you seem to have this stream-of-consciousness style of writing that verges on surrealism sometimes.  I think it would be interesting to recommend how to get in these states of mind, I don't think people need to get drunk or do drugs to truly enter a dream-like state but sometimes just listening to the same song over and over, or provoking emotion in yourself in some way like reliving a painful memory can create some really beautiful and almost poetic writing.  I'm just curious as to how you enter a writing state of mind, do you lose yourself completely when you write or is it a more thought out process of sitting down and saying "Who is this person"?   As for some of the other people talking about losing interest while writing a story, I totally understand that.  Sometimes I will lose the initial emotion of why I started the story, usually it starts with an image and a feeling and it's hard to cling to a feeling perpetually and turn it into a story.  Sometimes you have to let the story take on it's own life and not try to hang on to that one feeling or emotion you had when you started writing it.  I tend to write in the first person because it is easy to lose yourself in that character.  When in doubt, treat writing like you are an actor, become the people you are writing and say and do the things they would logically do even while maintaining a surreal sensibility.  Anyway, that's just my advise.  Not trying to butt in my two cents. 

Felinoid's picture
Felinoid from Luxembourg October 2, 2011 - 3:03am

Hi Craig

what I find happens to me a lot when writing is that I will sit down and start writing based on a vague idea, sometimes not even that, and while doing this, grow more and more inspired and start seeing a story take form. I will write a first part, go back, rearrange a few things, cut/add some parts that seem awkward, and finally sit there, looking at the first 10 pages or so of a story that I know I want to be bigger, but whatever I write after that first week of editing seems... unsatisfying. Or it turns into something that I could use later on in the story, but I feel that by allowing my story to become fragmented I might not allow my protagonist to evolve in a way that will make him natural and real, and it ends up feeling like I'm losing touch with the story. The more I reflect on my story, the harder it gets to put it down on paper because those 2 versions tend to become very different.

So basically what I'm saying is, how can one start a story and stick to that project by avoiding that feeling of 'being stuck'? Even use it to push the story in a different direction if need be. 

Also, as Chester mentionned, building tension. 

Thanks!

Craig Clevenger's picture
Craig Clevenger from Joshua Tree, CA October 2, 2011 - 4:05am

Okay, I'm a lot of these comments orbit a related cluster of issues... following through; maintaining focus; staying interested; keeping a project from dying on the vine; battling one's own scattered thought processes, (dis)organization, counter-productive perfectionism, etc. This isn't a subject(s) that lends itself to the practical lecture/lab format of the classroom, but it is worth addressing. I'll knock this around for a bit and pitch a craft essay to Mark and Dennis.

The rest of the points are either covered in my existing material, or at very least call for some amendments to that material.

More, please. And thank you.

-Craig

P.S. Felinoid, that's a great book, Ventura's.

Jenny Hanniver's picture
Jenny Hanniver from Wyoming is reading everything she can get her hands on as a general rule October 2, 2011 - 4:54am

On a possibly mundane level, I'd love to see some comparisons of various writing software options.  I know there are oodles out there, but it's hard to get information about how they actually work without paying for them.

Liana's picture
Liana from Romania and Texas is reading Naked Lunch October 2, 2011 - 9:36am

I just realized there is a class I would love to take if someone offered it: something focusing solely on novel writing, turning ideas into a book, getting feedback on how chapters would flow better, what would be a good beginning, if the story would be interesting enough for a book, feedback on style and specific chapters, etc. I would take that class since I have 3 books that I'm dying to start writing and I'd like to start at least one of them...

sue's picture
sue from the west coast of Canada is reading The Cricket in Times Square, by George Selden October 2, 2011 - 9:58am

I have problems sticking with a big idea that I know will make a good story, but I find it hard to know how to lay it all out and then how to start. Once I have started, I'm always doubting I picked the right place to start and then the struggle to keep the whole story in my head while building it gets to be too much. How do you organize a big story and keep it clear? 

Brandon's picture
Brandon from KCMO is reading Made to Break October 2, 2011 - 10:37am

@Jenny

Check out Scrivener

I personally don't use it, but I know a lot of writers who do and they love it. Give it a shot and let us know what you think.

Chester Pane's picture
Chester Pane from Portland, Oregon is reading The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz October 2, 2011 - 11:02am

I just realized there is a class I would love to take if someone offered it: something focusing solely on novel writing, turning ideas into a book, getting feedback on how chapters would flow better, what would be a good beginning, if the story would be interesting enough for a book, feedback on style and specific chapters, etc. I would take that class since I have 3 books that I'm dying to start writing and I'd like to start at least one of them...

I like Liana's suggestion. A course where students arrive day one with an idea for a novel, perhaps nothing more than a synopsis, and begin step-by-step to construct a manuscript. I'd buy that for a dollar...or a few hundred in this case.

Chester Pane's picture
Chester Pane from Portland, Oregon is reading The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz October 2, 2011 - 11:02am

I just realized there is a class I would love to take if someone offered it: something focusing solely on novel writing, turning ideas into a book, getting feedback on how chapters would flow better, what would be a good beginning, if the story would be interesting enough for a book, feedback on style and specific chapters, etc. I would take that class since I have 3 books that I'm dying to start writing and I'd like to start at least one of them...

I like Liana's suggestion. A course where students arrive day one with an idea for a novel, perhaps nothing more than a synopsis, and begin step-by-step to construct a manuscript. I'd buy that for a dollar...or a few hundred in this case.

Jenny Hanniver's picture
Jenny Hanniver from Wyoming is reading everything she can get her hands on as a general rule October 2, 2011 - 11:07am

I supponse I could check out the freeview, Brandon.  Take one for the team.  They have it for Mac, so we're kosher for a shot at it.  I might report back like a good scout in a few days or thereabouts.

Charles's picture
Charles from Portland is reading Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones October 2, 2011 - 11:55am

craig -

i was thinking, how about some more advanced editing techniques and such, beyond driftwood. if you believe such a practice exists.

Renfield's picture
Renfield from Hell is reading 20th Century Ghosts October 2, 2011 - 2:53pm

Fuckin hell, I'm here for a minute and the guy whose writing and insight in interviews got me interested in this community is going to offer his take on the craft. I'm still jealous of the people that have taken the earlier Clev intensives. I'm so miserably broke, maybe hopefully I can sell enough blood for the spare cash for this.

 

Something I am always trying to improve in every story I write; scene structure in general, smoother scene transitions, and keeping the energy up in more expository scenes. I always feel like the "***" time elapse is a cheat to my writing, or I'm writing a scene only to please myself that's less necessary to the main train of thought/plot. That and maybe my fault is I learned to write creatively through essays and journalism classes, so my story skeleton is too stuck on a variation on the three point "Firstly, then, in conclusion" structure that annoys me upon reflection.

 

I've tried to throw a lot of improv acting theory into my writing too, lately, having read Del Close/Charna Helpurn's Truth in Comedy. I really try to keep the "Yes, And" idea in my head concerning the plot. I notice, however, that when I have the general plot planned out I will write a scene that leads directly into the next plot point, to the detriment of the story. I'm pulling my punches, backing off of an intense scene because it messes with the planned bigger resolution later in the story. Should I go balls out and just reconsider the plot entirely after that? Maybe avoid these big confrontations altogether? I'd like to have the mindset that is totally unconcerned with this situation, the big step between planned plot/outlining to actually writing it and avoiding being led astray.

postpomo's picture
postpomo from Canada is reading words words words October 2, 2011 - 3:54pm

Thanks for the thread Craig,

Playing with time lapse - how to stretch out moments, speed up action scenes, balance detail with moving forward.

Pacing and knowing when to end a scene/chapter (typically a page or two ahead of where one's written)

 

Charles's picture
Charles from Portland is reading Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones October 2, 2011 - 4:04pm


Playing with time lapse - how to stretch out moments, speed up action scenes, balance detail with moving forward.

Pacing and knowing when to end a scene/chapter (typically a page or two ahead of where one's written)

 

both of these would be awesome.

Chorlie's picture
Chorlie from Philadelphia, PA is reading The Rules of the Tunnel October 2, 2011 - 4:29pm

I would like to place my wordplay better. 

Ben's picture
Ben from Australia is reading My Booky Wook by Russell Brand October 2, 2011 - 5:38pm

Okay, I'm a lot of these comments orbit a related cluster of issues... following through; maintaining focus; staying interested; keeping a project from dying on the vine; battling one's own scattered thought processes, (dis)organization, counter-productive perfectionism, etc. This isn't a subject(s) that lends itself to the practical lecture/lab format of the classroom, but it is worth addressing. I'll knock this around for a bit and pitch a craft essay to Mark and Dennis.

I actually attended a workshop (run by the fantastic people at Thinkwell: http://ithinkwell.com.au/) a couple of weeks ago that dealt with many of these issues.  Sure, its focus was academic writing, as those of my ilk (PhD students) often suffer from these ailments, but the principles can be applied to writing of any type.  The interesting thing, I found, was that the majority of strategies designed to increase productivity and output were not revolutionary or groundbreaking by any stretch of the imagination.  Instead, as with most things, it took someone else to suggest proven methods for achieving something before I could put aside my own stubbornness and see the benefit.

Anyway, some of the main points to come out of the seminar included:

  • The "jumbo jet strategy" - imagine your ideas and writing tasks as jets flying above an airport, all at different stages of landing (completion).  You're the air traffic controller.  You don't try to land them all at the same time; instead, you focus on the one closest to landing and work back logically from there.  The lesson here is that you should pick the task closest to fruitition and see it through to completion, rather than attempting to juggle multiple things at once: prioritisation
  • Make your writing tasks specific, small and measurable - the more specific you are, the less likely you are to find a way out of what you're supposed to be doing.  In addition, smaller tasks are less daunting than larger ones, and if they're measurable, you feel a sense of satisfaction and achievement once you complete them
  • "Snack writing" vs. "binge writing" - some of you would be familiar with these concepts as they are closely related to the "egg-timer method".  Specifically, binge writing is where you sit down and try to write in one huge block (for instance, one full day each week).  Snack writing, on the other hand, refers to doing a little bit on a more regular basis - usually in 45-120 minute blocks - and is considered far superior to binge writing as it has been shown to increase productivity and generate more output.  But the important thing is that you write in these blocks - remember:
  • Writing is not recording.  You don't simply record what is in your head; writing is the creative process.  It clarifies your thinking.  Often you'll sit down and start to write and find inconsistencies in your ideas, and this is useful because it allows you to cull those ideas that aren't beneficial to you, and focus instead on the ones that are
  • Writing is not pursuing good ideas.  You may find that during the course of your writing, you'll conceive another good idea that is unrelated to the section you're currently working on.  Don't pursue it then (as this goes against the principles above) - instead, jot it down and then you can explore it once you've finished your 45-120 minute block of work
  • Writing is not editing.  Don't try to write and edit/polish at the same time - research shows that you can increase your output by a factor of 10 by not editing while you write.  I know this is difficult - I'm a perfectionist too - but consider the potential for time wasting by editing while you write, summed up perfectly in this Oscar Wilde quote: "I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning, and took out a comma.  In the afternoon, I put it back again."  Been there, done that - it's not worth it
  • Write first thing - this means as soon as possible after you get out of bed, when your brain is well-rested and your neurons will be firing.  The longer you leave it, the more chance you have of being distracted by emails, Facebook, the pile of dishes in the kitchen, etc.  Of course, do the things you have to do before you write, like getting the kids off to school - but write as soon as possible
  • Consider the 10-year-old method - if you have an idea that you can't quite get your head around; if you can't quite see the connections or you can't express it clearly in your writing... You need to consider how you would explain it to a 10-year-old.  That means start at the most basic, generic aspect first.  Got it?  Good, now add a layer to it - and keep doing so until you have the total idea, which should be able to be interpreted by a 10-year-old.  And now you have a different way of explaining the idea; it will be clearer in your head and you'll be able to communicate it effectively in your writing

Overall, there were two fundamental elements to come out of the seminar, which are so basic that we often forget them.  The first is that writing is hard; it always has been and always will be (and, let's face it, that's why we love it!).  The other is that we have to start somewhere - anywhere; it doesn't matter - just pick something and go with it.  Remember, writing is the creative process; even if you're writing complete crap, a better idea will come.  Many people are under the mistaken impression that you start with motivation, which leads to action; but in reality, a small action leads to motivation, which then leads to a greater action: action -> motivation -> action...  It's a useful model to keep in mind.

Craig Clevenger's picture
Craig Clevenger from Joshua Tree, CA October 2, 2011 - 6:57pm

I've outlined a couple of pieces for the Craft Essays section; keep an eye over there (and I'll post here when they go live). I'll check out Truth in Comedy; I highly recommend Impro by Keith Johnstone (it's the origin of my status play lectures, above).

As for word processors, I'm on a Mac and I use Mellel (I have a deep and abiding loathing for MS Word), which I would describe as having the 20% of actual, useful features in Word, and none of the other useless shit. It's only fifty bucks, has a demo version, is built specifically for the Mac (so it doesn't have any of the artifacts of porting or cross-platform development). The workflow takes some getting used to, but it makes sense, after a while.

I've ignored recommendations of OpenOffice, the free, open-source, version of Microsoft Office, simply because free crap is still crap. Scrivner looks cool, and I may one day make the leap if Mellel falls prey to feature creep. But I didn't go with it originally because I felt it went overboard with writer-specific features that seemed either like hand-holding or just too cute (like the virtual corkboard). And I prefer to do most of that stuff by hand, anyway.

There are plenty of others out there that do the five or six simple things I need a word processor to do, WriteRoom and ByWord both come to mind (ByWord has a really cool feature that allows you to have text fade out after a given number of lines before and after the paragraph you're working on). Unfortunately, most of those are glorified text editors that only handle .txt and .rtf files; most novels are going to exceed the size restrictions of those files formats.

Which brings me to the advantage the Scrivner and Mellel have above the rest: both can import and export MS Word's .doc file format, so you're still able to swap files with the rest of the publishing world.

Probably far too much detail, but I hope it helps.

Word.

-Craig

Kirk's picture
Admin
Kirk from Pingree Grove, IL is reading The Book Of The New Sun October 2, 2011 - 7:38pm

You really hit the nail on the head with OpenOffice.org, Craig. It's good for free, but that's about it.

Aaron Deering's picture
Aaron Deering from where the ghetto meets the sea is reading Wuthering Heights October 3, 2011 - 6:00pm

I want to know how to write about what I don't know. I know I know, you're supposed to "write what you know," but... you know.

Basically I get hung up on balancing research and hammering out the first draft. Also, while I've learned about focusing research for academic projects, I don't know any real strategies for creative writing research.

Kate Winters's picture
Kate Winters from Toronto is reading James Rollins' Sigma Force series October 3, 2011 - 6:12pm

@ Jenny, I've started a thread to ask for people's opinion to Scrivener vs Word vs what others use. Maybe there's something you can take away with. here: http://litreactor.com/discuss/word-scrivener-what-is-your-choice-of-writing-software

 

Kate Winters's picture
Kate Winters from Toronto is reading James Rollins' Sigma Force series October 3, 2011 - 6:17pm

Craig, I was wondering: people always say write what you know, and I usually take that as "write subject matters that you have first hand knowledge with that you can access accurate information and research from." What is your opinion on doing research for your writing? How much is too much? What is your approach to researching topics that you have absolutely no prior knowledge of?

Craig Clevenger's picture
Craig Clevenger from Joshua Tree, CA October 14, 2011 - 12:45pm
Chester Pane's picture
Chester Pane from Portland, Oregon is reading The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz October 15, 2011 - 8:16pm

Nice title Clev.

Redd Tramp's picture
Redd Tramp from Los Angeles, CA is reading Mongrels by SGJ; Sacred and Immoral: On the Writings of Chuck Palahniuk; The History of Sexuality by Michel Foucault June 25, 2014 - 7:04am

This still going? Probably not, but oh well. I've read...a lot of craft essays so far, and learned sooo much in the short time since joining this site. I suppose what I'd really like to learn now is how to tell my inner critic to shut UP when I want to write. Sure he helps me write less lazily, forces me to know my ideas and characters better, but he can also make me stress over the wording of a single line so much that I can't even get the idea down. The journey from a what-if concept to the unpacking of appropriate or inappropriate details to getting enough details for a shape can be kind of hard for me. Short of drinking, which really really works for me, how can I make my brain stop picking EVERYTHING apart and drowning me in it?

Also, Clev, I would lose a finger to hear you discuss your metaphors. Maybe like the pinky on my right hand, that'd be worth knowing how you work with the metaphorical images in your head and how you know when one will serve the story.

L.W. Flouisa's picture
L.W. Flouisa from Tennessee is reading More Murakami June 25, 2014 - 7:34am

I presently saving up to learn non-verbal communication. One of my flash fiction stories was beta read at one point, and the comment I usually get is there is no subtext.

I've figured out the character = the plot dynamic of course. Though that lack of a complex character might be keeping from longer work I guess. Well, whatever being complex means.