If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

Check out our February author interviews: 2/7-debut author Keenan Powell (Alaskan lawyer), 2/14-Leslie Wheeler (Rattlesnake Hill), 2/21-bestselling author Krista Davis, who unveils a new series, 2/28-Diane Vallere answers my questions about Pajama Frame. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.

Our February Saturday Guest Blogger Schedule: 2/3-Saralyn Richard, 2/10-Kathryn Lane. WWK's Margaret H. Hamilton will blog on 2/17, and Kait Carson on 2/24.

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.

In addition, our prolific KM has had the following shorts published as well: "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017 and "Turkey Underfoot," appears in the anthology The Killer Wore Cranberry: a Fifth Course of Chaos.


Friday, January 27, 2017

Lessons from Edgar Allan Poe by Warren Bull

Lessons from Edgar Allan Poe by Warren Bull
Edgar Allan Poe, inventor of the detective story, master of the short story and renown poet offered some thoughts on writing short fiction and poetry. I summarized some of them below: 

1. Before putting pen to paper have the entire work including the ending worked out in your mind.  

2. Write what can be read in one sitting. The time the typical reader is willing to spend reading has changed since Poe’s time but the concept is still valid. 

3. Work toward unity of “effect.” Poe believed that the aim of a short story was to create a single mood, or ambience, which he called an effect. He favored melancholy and horror, but this applies to any mood. 

4. Poe insisted that the effect should start at the very first line. 

5. Related to the idea above include nothing that detracts or distracts from the design of the piece. 

6. Regardless of the genre keep the story true to the way people really act in a given situation. It may be a fantasy, romance or science fiction but the characters’ actions should ring true to the human heart.  

7. Stress imagination, invention, creation and originality. It is not necessary to invent a totally new situation. Familiar plot lines can be presented in fresh ways. 

8. The resolution must be satisfying. In fact Poe suggested that the ending is often where to begin the piece.

By Warren Bull, author of Abraham Lincoln For the Defense http://tinyurl.com/z9grc2j and Abraham Lincoln in court & campaign http://tinyurl.com/zoxazej


Art Taylor said...

Good stuff here, Warren. Poe was the master for a reason!

Margaret Turkevich said...

A timely reminder. I wonder how long Poe's contemporaries would read without taking a break?

Shari Randall said...

I'm going to keep this close at hand, Warren. Poe is one of my writing idols, though his rule to figure out the whole story before putting pen to papers is tough for this pantser!

Gloria Alden said...

Interesting, Warren. I'm not sure about some of his advice though, especially not when writing novels instead of short stories or poetry, especially his rule that Shari mentioned. I have a general idea of where my story or book is going, but not the whole thing ever.

KM Rockwood said...

Poe defined the idea of short story, and most of us would benefit from keeping his "rules" in mind.

Kait said...

Whoa. Excellent rules! Who would suspect Poe of being so disciplined? I agree with all, except having the ending in mind. Sometimes the characters need to surprise the writer. But perhaps writing conventions were different in those days. I would like to discuss it with Edgar over a cognac or two.

June Shaw said...

How nice to read Poe's rules and surprising that he was so disciplined about his stories. He was the master!

Karen S. said...

Thanks for remembrance of Mr. Poe during his birthday month.