Raw Literature: Writing the Other

Raw Literature: Writing the Other

By Pete Fanning We’ve all heard the old cliché about how a character “speaks” to an author? It happened to me a few years ago. This young girl popped into my head with a story. She was good company, persistent, too. She went on for about a month until one day I sat...
Raw Literature: Variations Within Memoir

Raw Literature: Variations Within Memoir

Essay by Irene Waters, a member of the Congress of Rough Writers. << ? >> This writing is raw. Most of my writing that you may have seen to date is raw. By that I mean it is uncooked, the first draft without changes and alterations. The grammar may be...
Raw Literature: Spring Review #2

Raw Literature: Spring Review #2

One of my favorite analogies for writing and revising a book is to look at editing in three layers: bones, flesh and skin. At any layer, your writing can be raw — newly knit bones (structure); exposed flesh (details); and tender skin (polish). It depends upon a...
NaNoReViSo: Week 1

NaNoReViSo: Week 1

NanoReviSo is an acronym of my own making. It’s a nod to one of my favorite drafting tools, NaNoWriMo, which officially began yesterday, but acknowledgement of where I’m at in my writing process this November — revision. Week 1 began with a bang; I...
Tools of the Trade: Self-Editing

Tools of the Trade: Self-Editing

The fledgling barn swallow careens drunkenly, barely lifting off the ground higher than the dog chasing it. With fumbling feathers it flits to the top of the pasture-gate and clings with wiry bird toes as the dog sniffs from below. Later, it attempts flight again,...
Tools of the Trade: Self-Editing

Levels of Editing: When & Why

Writers, like it or not, you can’t multitask. Like many who push a pen, I’ve had to find work to pay for the ink. Eons ago, I waited tables in a ridiculously short pink polyester dress. On Wednesday nights at the casino restaurant where I worked, it was...
Tools of the Trade: Self-Editing

The Story Behind the Board

“You should take Mary Carroll Moore’s class on developing a book.” A newly published author offered me this advice in 2012 when I told her I was quitting my day job to finish writing my novel. She took this workshop, published and won a literary...
Tools of the Trade: Self-Editing

Finding the Cave

April feels like it’s going to be an easy month, if there are ever such declarations. Easy in the sense that my first manuscript is now in the care of someone else. No more tweaking, second-guessing names, plot and character development. It’s whole,...
Tools of the Trade: Self-Editing

Just Shoot

Always shooting from the hip will not improve your aim, but sometimes you just have to shoot. Writing a full-length fiction manuscript is a new target for me as a writer. It stretches everything I’ve learned about writing in my freelance and business career. And...
Say it With Said

Say it With Said

Crumpling newspaper to start a fire in the wood stove, an article caught my attention. It was in the weekly that advertises trucks, horses and cracked corn for sale so I wasn’t expecting a primer on language. Yet here it was, the third reminder in a week that...
Revision Review: Genre Shopping

Revision Review: Genre Shopping

I’m shopping for a genre. It’s kind of like shopping for jeans; tugging at zippers, wiggling into tight denim, frowning at the low waist-band. What’s the best fit, I wonder. Some writers know exactly what genre they’re writing–mystery,...