A Modern Classic?

Can anyone write what me might term a modern classic anymore?  Or are there simply too many people writing and too much being published for any one book to stand out that way?  Yes, one might point to Harry Potter but now that the books have all been published, it’s just a matter of time before the series of movies are finished being released.  It will be interesting to see how often the books are still checked out five years after that point. 

As I sort through books on the library shelves using the “dusty book” list and removing those that haven’t been checked out within the last five years, there is precious little that can withstand the weeding.  There are some books that I resist on behalf of, either because they are old classics or because it sounds too interesting and I think someone just might want to check it out when the shelves are weeded so people can see what is really there worth seeing.

Perhaps I’m just not seeing the modern classics because those books aren’t on the list, but I can’t think of one at the moment.

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Where do you write?

Once again, inspiration strikes in the shower! Mowing or washing dishes also seems to help, anything that is a mindless repetitive activity. This morning ideas for my short story on the Rapture came fast and furious. I had to hustle out and write things down so I didn’t forget anything. I suppose if that’s my only time for writing in a day, I’ll take it!

Full steam ahead!

Wow!  Now that http://www.nanowrimo.org has got their pages set up for the upcoming National Novel Writing Month in November and people are starting to log on, I’m getting really excited about the possibilities.  I can’t decide whether I want to work on my young adult novel Devolution or my new mainstream novel Pumpkin Time.  I’m excited about both.  I’ll be doing some editing on Devolution this friday as I prepare to submit a sample for the NYFA Fellowship.  Perhaps that will help me decide.

I’m also thinking about that Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Contest and getting excited again about working on a story I had thought of for that.  (Briefly, the Rapture happens and nobody notices.  The Antichrist is very confused.)  I also have to work on editing the first three chapters of my juvi mystery for writer’s group and my online application for NYFA.  Busy, busy, busy! 

Friday is my day off this week and it’s looking like major writing time for me!

Same idea, from a different angle…

Talking with a fellow writer tonight, he mentioned how some people seem to worry about putting their ideas out there in a blog. They fear that someone will steal their ideas, write them and get to that editor that will want it first. I believe that people can have the same idea, but unless you’re posting sections of your writing that someone can take, any idea they take away and write up is going to be something totally different than you would do. Books get picked up by agents and editors based on how you present it, and your take on it. I think two people would take the same concept and write it differently. I’ve always believed that the same “idea” is likely to come from several directions in a given time period. Perhaps because of social consciousness or something in the ether. But it takes the sum total of your experiences and writing skills to define what the idea will turn into. Hmmm, maybe one of these days I’ll try to get my whole writing group to write on the same prompt and see what each person comes up with. Could be interesting.

Writing getting better… or worse?

A fellow writer sent me a link to an online discussion today.  The topic was whether the writers felt like their writing had gotten better over time, or whether they’d lost something along the way as they learned craft – lost some of their creativity and spontaneity.  Most of the reactions fell into one of two groups – those that felt their writing had lost something and those that felt their writing was better in the end, even if the initial draft wasn’t as creative.

The idea is that as we learn craft, skills and techniques, we internalize them so that they come out in our writing without having to think about it.  That doesn’t happen quickly for most of us, if it ever does.  I think this is where something like NaNoWriMo can come in handy.  Because of the time constraints, you’re forced to just write without editing or too much planning.   Then we can go back and apply the things we haven’t internalized yet when we edit. 

Maybe this is the long way around the barn, but it’s the way I have to work right now in order to preserve my creativity.  I want the best of both worlds.