Well, I just returned from my writer’s group, apparently lucky to be alive. You see, I was ill for last month’s meeting and wasn’t able to attend; but that was an illness that might have saved my life. What’s the stereotypical writer? He or she is bookish and has a fetish for plaid jackets, oh and hangs around the coffee shop with laptop looking like a modern day CS Lewis. In fact, here in Vegas, in the absence of a strong authority figure we can be wild people. As evidence, you can see Lindsay appearnly throwing a chair here. And our literary quiz giver is missing. Perhaps meeting a bar isn’t such a good idea, after all. This is all because our fearless leader was also absent from the meeting, and he is fearless to meet with 78 crazy writers on a monthly basis.
Dear Las Vegas Metro Police, I’m quit positive that there wasn’t attempted murder and we’re certainly not homicidal, so please don’t raid us. That goes for you, too any other law enforcement agencies.
Now on to this month’s fun. Over a glass off rum and coke and a plate of fries, I learned about non-fiction writing from Michael Schrenk. Our speaker, who survived unmolested in any way, made an interesting suggestion. When writing non-fiction, and I suspect this goes for fiction as well, first write down the obvious reason for writing the piece. On a separate sheet write down the less obvious ones, that are sometimes less than noble. Michael brought up an example a less than noble reason for his early writing, which was stoking one’s ego. He pointed out that in non-fiction, at least, editor’s can see right through that and reject the work because it will crap. As an example, he brought up a unpublished magazine article we wrote at oh-so-very experienced age of 21 about how to find the perfect job. Unfortunately, he was full of himself because of his success at finding entry level jobs that require no experience and it showed in the writing. II think this applies to fiction in that if you wrote a story or novel in that same mental state and unwilling to accept criticism, it will also show in the work. It will also lead to the creation of bland “Mary-Sue” characters that service only to fulfill your own fantasies and desires. In what’s clearly not a jab at any paranormal romance books, and example of this would be having a affair with and ultimately marrying a vampire while also being pursued by a ridiculously hot guy.
So the take-away is learning to set one’s ego aside, and if the leader of writer’s group is absent, bolt for the door. Oh, and I have to say this, serious writer’s can set their ego aside long enough to not sit in the coffee shop looking like a writer and announcing it everyone…