The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Friday, March 8, 2013

Getting Better Mileage

photo by ladybugbkt
      
         This week at our writing critique meeting, one of the WWWPs had a problem. A sticky wicket was in her hands. She was faced with a dilemma.

       One writing piece that could be sent--in its entirety--to a literary magazine (it was that mind-blowing) and then if she chooses to use her mental scissors and glue and red pen, she has at least two other pieces.

      One is dark and delicious, like the Grimm brothers on crack? meth? loads of Nutella? and the other is frothy and feminine and sweet (but not even on the same continent as syrupy).

       As writers, we need to get as much mileage as we can out of our writing. Not long ago I got my head caught in the sink at work (I was washing my hair, trying to save the $5 shampoo fee when I got my hair cut after work). True story. It was published by the Publishing Syndicate's Not Your Mother's Book On Being a Woman.

      Because that story had a pathetic ending in real life (I ended up looking like Christopher Walken with $5 in his pocket) I rewrote it, with a horde of hunky firemen to finish up the story...Muuuuuch more satisfying...A happy ending. That story was published by Mozark Press (A Bad Hair Day).

       To ensure you don't run out of gas, to make sure you don't sputter and shudder and have to pull off to the side when it comes to your writing, try to get the most mileage out of each piece. Rewrite it from a different perspective. Make a nonfiction piece fictional. Change it from prose to poetry.

       Just keep moving forward with your writing...

17 comments:

  1. Absolutely Sioux. Stretching our boundaries helps us to grow as writers, and sending that reworked piece to multiple places pays off.

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    1. Linda--Sometimes we work so hard on a piece, if we can cut it up and get several pieces out of it, you're right--it might pay off.

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  2. As long as they don't stop making that chai tea, I'm good.

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    1. Shay--Do you get a "finder's fee" for every person you get hooked on that stuff? ;)

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  3. I need a tune-up. But I live too far from the shop.

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    1. The shop could always meet you halfway...

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  4. True, but OH, how those mental scissors can hurt. Especially if you're a frothy sweet Grimm sort of person.

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    1. Tammy--Being a combination of those things must be wonderful. Some of us (meaning me) are just Grimm. ;)

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  5. Sure sometimes I feel a bit guilty using the same altered pieces multiple times. EXCEPT that each revision does require a certain finesse and amount of time. It's really great exercise to rework in a different pov or make a murder a comedy. Even if it's just changing a pet from a dog to a cat, new material is new material. Thx for the validation. Will do.

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    1. Marcia--It doesn't sound like you need any validation. A murder becomes a comedy? If I crossed you, I'd watch out. ;)

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  6. Okay! Great advice. Hope that you have a wonderful week, Sioux.

    Kathy M.

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    1. Kathy--You have your wonderful photographs to inspire you, so you probably don't need any writing advice. ;) I hope your week goes well, too.

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  7. Never let the facts get in the way of a good story. :-)

    Pearl

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    1. That is right- Embellish (lie), embellish some more (lie) and then fabricate.

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  8. Great advice. And I love your bad hair day story. Too funny. And how wonderful of you to share it with the rest of us. If The Carol Burnett show was still on, she'd use that as the basis for a great skit--with Lyle Waggoner as the fireman. :)

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    1. OR Tim Conway as the old man who could only shuffle along at a snail's pace. Burnett was brilliant, wasn't she!

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  9. Geez, I thought I commented on this already... dur. I'm so behind. Sometimes I feel that's all I do is resubmit the same ole crap and well, it'd be nice if something made it. Ha.

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