Monday, 22 August 2011

Wise witterings from my Clarion Tutors (part 1)

Here, as part of a short series, are some writerly advice-chunks I caught out of the air at Clarion. I should apologise beforehand that I spent 3/4 of my time in a drowsy-not-enough-kip-and-thinking-of-next-story mental state; its entirely possible I dreampt they said these things or, if that is not the case, these aren't their exact words. But I'm a pretty good drift-catcher with my notes so with any luck I'm not being libelous. Anyhoo...

'He worked like a dog for ten years and never got a thing- now there's a line you couldn't do outside of literature. Exercise this. Change pace, change velocity.'

Kim Stanley Robinson.

'What sells a story is not what it does not do wrong. It's what it does right.'

Elizabeth Bear

'Always be at your most cautious when approaching something you want. In any deal with publishers, agents and Hollywood, your only card is 'no'.'

John Scalzi

On short stories- 'Aim for the fewest characters, the fewest scenes.'

Nina Kiriki Hoffman

'Take risks. Risk self-exposure. Ask: 'What can I do that no one else can?' You'll risk failure and that can hurt but, hey; people told Melville he was crazy.'

John Kessel

More to come (soon as I dig out more notebooks...)

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