Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Writing { and reading and publishing } ~

Yes, Virginia, There Is A Sh*tty First Draft


Yes, it appears most writers’ first drafts need lots of work; yet, today’s re-blog author says: “…there’s value in a sloppy, disorganized, poorly written first draft. It’s not a failure, it’s a necessary first step.”

Read on :-)

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

Sorry kid, we regret we’re unable to include your pony request in North Pole Review, please keep us in mind for future submissions

Interviewing an author for the Brevity Podcast, I ask how his book is coming along. He says it’s terrible. He has no idea how he’ll make his way through, finish a draft so he can fix it in revisions. I trust and respect this writer, but part of me still thinks, yeah, right. I know him to be an amazing writer, I love his work. I can’t imagine him writing the same pages of unfocused crap I do.

An early-career writer friend says, “Every time I read an interview with a famous author, they all say they write shitty first drafts. But they never show them to anyone, so it just sounds like something they say to make crappy writers feel better about themselves. Like telling…

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Further Conversation about Reading Challenging Books . . .


Challenging Books This conversation began on September 12th and continued on September 14th, 17th, 19th, and 21st

The posts on the 19th and 21st had a list of Challenging books

And, though there’ve been 9 readers’ comments in the posts of this discussion, the one on the 21st is what’s let this conversation continue today…

This comment comes from an accomplished author living in Melbourne, Australia (our author begins by referring to books in the mentioned list...):

I have read (and enjoyed) ‘The Waste Land’ and ‘War and Peace’ and dipped into some of the others…

“I think the most difficult books I have read were difficult for me at the time, not because I could not read them, but because the subject matter was outside my then limited experience as a young person. I struggled with ‘Heart of Darkness’, ‘Middlemarch‘ and ‘Tess of the D’Urbervilles‘….I understood what they were about on a superficial level but I could not see what they were saying on a deeper, more metaphoric level. Now, I would like to go back and read these books as a more mature person.

“Actually I think my prize for my most difficult book would have to be ‘Hereward The Wake’ written by by Charles Kingsley (London: Macmillan, 1866) which, according to Wikipedia, describes the life of: ‘…Hereward the Wake (pronounced /ˈhɛrɪwəd/) (c. 1035 – c.1072), (also known as Hereward the Outlaw or Hereward the Exile), [who] was an Anglo-Saxon nobleman and a leader of local resistance to the Norman Conquest of England…’

“All I can remember when I attempted this book at thirteen is that Hereward spent a lot of time running around the Fens and bogs in East Anglia, which were very wet and so foreign to me, a young Australian, that they were almost fascinating….

“But, apparently, also according to Wikipedia, a more recent version of Hereward’s exploits by Mike Ripley came out in 2007, which sounds a lot more riveting because: ‘…Hereward is portrayed as a prototype Robin Hood, but also as a drug-taking, psychopathic arsonist, in…”The Legend of Hereward: A Novel of Norman England“…’

“So, try that one first :-) :-) “

I honestly can’t remember any books I read when I was thirteen :-)

Though, I’ve had a relative tell me that, when I visited their home as a young boy, I’d sit for hours reading their encyclopedias…

Plus, my voracious reading has never been long absent from my life; though, it’s too bad I can’t remember the challenging books, except for the works of C. J. Cherryh ( …always a fulfilling and refreshing Challenge... ).

So…

What are some of your reading challenges…?

What are some reading challenges you enjoy dealing with…?

What are some challenges that drive you crazy…?

How about reading challenges your friends or acquaintances reveal…?

Perhaps you’ll share challenges you used to have but you’ve overcome…?

Reminderit only takes one comment to keep this discussion going………
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If you don’t see a way to comment, try the link at the upper right of this post…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Our Blog Conversations are on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays—the rest of the week, I share valuable posts from other blogs
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com
OR >>> Send me a free Voice Message

Write What You (Want To) Know


Something to think about… :-)

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

I think my mother knows more than she’s telling…

Perhaps the most famous piece of writing advice ever: “Write what you know.” A maxim right up there with “don’t quit your day job” and “vampires are done.”

But should you?

One of my favorite writers is Dick Francis (the when-he-was-alive version, not the now-he’s-a-brand version). Francis wrote horse-racing mysteries. Early in his career, they were all about horse-racing, and the skulduggery around the track: doping, blackmail, sabotage, family conflict. All the things that happen when a bunch of wealthy people get together for a competitive hobby. Francis knew that world. He’d been a jockey for many years, including riding for Queen Elizabeth II. But as his books became more popular, they also became more diverse. He still set every one in the world of racing in some way, but he added a layer. Racecourse catering (poison!), architecture and renovation (explosions!)…

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Tender Dawn


leaf and twig


pink morning sky
the rising mist
beauty persists

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Yet More Conversation about Reading Challenging Books . . .


This conversation began on September 12th and continued on September 14th, 17th, and 19th… Challenging book

We had a comment on the post on the 19th; so, we can carry the discussion further…

That last post had a list of 10 purportedly difficult or challenging books; and, Martina’s comment is acknowledging a book on that list:

“‘The Scarlet Letter‘ was my subject for final exams in my English class at university. I didn’t think it was ‘difficult’; but, ‘challenging’ is a good term to describe it. There are so many layers of meaning, and not all of them are easily accessed by a young person.”

So…

Another proof that Challenging can be Good :-)

I’ll wrap up this installment of our conversation with that list of 10 Challenging Books followed by a few questions to encourage you to, perhaps, share a comment…

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
Moby Dick by Herman Melville
The Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Foucault’s Pendulum by Umberto Eco
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Waste Land by T.S. Eliot
Naked Lunch by William Burroughs
The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
Finnegans Wake by James Joyce

So

Would you like to share your thoughts on any of those 10 listed books that you might have read…?

What are some of your other reading challenges…?

What are some reading challenges you enjoy dealing with…?

What are some challenges that drive you crazy…?

How about reading challenges your friends or acquaintances reveal…?

Perhaps you’ll share challenges you used to have but you’ve overcome…?

Reminderit only takes one comment to keep this discussion going………
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
If you don’t see a way to comment, try the link at the upper right of this post…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Our Blog Conversations are on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays—the rest of the week, I share valuable posts from other blogs
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com
OR >>> Send me a free Voice Message