Now that I’ve got a bit of experience slush reading at our new magazine, I can say ‘start at the action’ with even more certainty than ever.
When you’re reading someone else’s story, who you don’t know, and have no preconceptions about, it is a lot easier to see faults. One fault being ‘I have no desire to keep reading this because nothing is happening.’ If your friend or family wrote the story, you want to see what happens because you are curious about the ideas in the head of someone you care about. But, most other people reading that story might get bored…
If your story is about a bank robbery, start at the bank. A detailed account of the afternoon leading up to the robbery is going to lose 90% of your readers, even if it’s really great prose. Short stories aren’t novels, people don’t know what they are about or what to expect, so you have to let them know what the story is about right away and give them a reason to keep reading.
I think I will learn a lot about writing from the experience with this magazine!
When you are asleep, your mind is at its true potential, in full conscious awareness, contemplating higher thoughts and imagining the truth of the universe. While you are ‘awake’ you stumble through life hardly aware of anything but your immediate surroundings, and your ‘sleeping’ self has no time for this you, only even thinking about it if you fail to eat enough, or get injured.
If aliens visited this world, they would only want to talk to humans while they were asleep, since this is when their minds are truly awake.
I feel like my purpose is to tell stories. But what kind of purpose is that? Isn’t it just a waste of time? A self-indulgence, or enabling of others to self-indulge? I disagree (of course, I would have to.)
I propose that stories serve the same purpose to society as dreams do to individuals. They are invented scenarios that allow us to imagine ourselves in situations we’ve never been in before. They allow us to prepare for happenings that we have no way of having the experience to deal with. George Orwell dreamed of a totalitarian world of horror, and now, because of his dream of a scenario that we’ve not experienced, we may be better prepared to deal with it if it comes our way. The same can be said for any other story dreamed into the collective consciousness of society.
Your ideas are not frivolous or pointless, you are a dreamer for the world. It’s your job not to hold back, and to put every crazy idea that you can think of out there for the rest of humanity to experience.
Go for it!
Is it just a fantasy? Could writing ever make ends meet? Sometimes I feel like money’s got me crawling on the floor. The things we love rarely pay the rent, but we do them nonetheless.
Don’t quit your day dream.
You should love what you do, not do what you love–bullshit.
Can we manufacture passion? Can we choose who we love anymore than what?
Don’t settle. Don’t give up. Don’t stop believing.
Is always getting in the way of living.
What do you want to do with your life? I’m sure whatever it is it’s impeded by your job, your house, your responsibilities of all kinds.
Being able to live the dream of what you really want to do might take stripping away everything else from your life. And can anyone really have the will or desire to do that?