This tweet by @mims_words and the comments are great “resources” if you want to fire off writing insults, but be warned. If you go on the attack with these, expect it right back and so, so much worse. I will never use these on you and request the same courtesy. They are great and I just had to share them.
Boy, you must be mad after reading last week’s letter to short fiction. First I said it was fun writing something other than essay-style posts, and then I went on and on about my romantic, moon-lit relationship with fiction.
Well, all of that is true, but you know what? You shouldn’t have opened short fiction’s mailbox. You know what else? We can still be friends.
Having a romance with you would take too much work. Do you have any idea how much time and effort on my part it takes to research essay topics? Yes, I know, it takes research to write fiction too, but it’s just not the same grinding, groaning, gritty, grumbling, grievous, grunting blend of alliterating adjectives as writing you. It is fun, I’ll grant you that much, but it should be enjoyed sparingly, sort of like…
What was I saying? Oh, yeah, I was trying to explain why I sometimes need to take a break from you and write something that didn’t actually happen, or that isn’t even possible. Here’s a better example. It’s like going to college. I wouldn’t do nothing but study 24/7 without any sleep or time to myself or a roll in the hay with short fiction, would I? You’re really nice, funny, smart, charming, and oh so generous, but you’re just not relaxing. Short fiction is all of those, but it’s just not . . . it’s not nonfiction.
In other words, be happy with your status as my best friend, but don’t expect me to fall in love with you.
Dear Short Fiction,
Every Friday, I post some of you on my blog to give my readers free content. It’s also nice to take a break from writing essay-style nonfiction posts.
I fell in love with you at first write, but I don’t quite remember the first time we met. All I recall is somebody tweeting, asking if people liked to write short stories or novels best. Of course, I voted for novels. Come on, don’t yell at me, I was thinking about those long ago days, you know the ones before I got a real book self-published with FriesenPress? I mean, it was so long ago, it’s embarrassing, so I won’t go into the gory details here, but I was thinking of those times when I only wrote for myself.
I guess the words “short stories” got stuck in my head, but I don’t really know how this happened. Maybe I had one or two glasses of wine too many, and the next thing I knew, I was writing The Choice. Considering that I don’t remember our first night of passion very well, I’m happy that we fell in love, because I do remember most of what we did after whatever it was that got things started. I love you so much, I couldn’t ever in a million years let you go, and I still feel that way today, yes, even after our honeymoon had to be canceled because of COVID-19. I’m having a blast writing The Dark Tide, and after that, I even have an idea for another one.
Do you want to hear a crazy wild secret?
I was thinking it might be fun to publish a longer work, such as maybe kind of sort of like a novel as a long series of blog posts.
I don’t know if I will do that, but I’m certainly toying with the idea. If you have an opinion on the subject, please leave a comment.
I’m not sure if this all means we’re married, or if we’re just living together, but either way,
you make my blog complete. Oh, what am I saying? My readers do that!
I’m kind of confused. I’ve always thought that the other half of writing was reading, but you sort of complicate matters.
Reading came first, so maybe it’s the older sibling, and writing and revision are a set of younger twins. While we’re at it, where does publishing fit into the family? Is it the youngest of all? What about blogging? C’mon, help me out here, will ya?
If I read a book more than once, I often revise my opinion of it or notice things I didn’t see before, so maybe you’re really the twin of reading. Then when writing comes along, what? Are there two of you, or do you just boss writing around and tell reading every time you find a typo in a book? If publishing wants to help writing, do you get reborn in yet another set of twins or do you just get bossier and rule with an even more iron fist? I’m pretty sure reading has to be born first, otherwise we’d all be writing before we could read, which just wouldn’t work, since we need to be readers before we feel like writing.
Now I’m going to make you mad. I think you were born last. I don’t know about everyone else, but when I started reading, I didn’t notice typos or think that things didn’t make sense. I hadn’t learned how to revise yet. So take that, revision!
Now that I’ve put revision in its place, I do want to say a few serious words. Even if it is the baby of the family, its importance in writing cannot be overstated. After the first draft, revision is necessary before your work is finished. From books to blog posts, short stories to novels, everything needs to be revised; the first write is rarely ready for the real world.