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

Here are the upcoming WWK interviews for the month of July!

July 4th Christopher Huang, A Gentleman's Murder

July 11th V. M. Burns, The Plot Is Murder

July 18th Edith Maxwell (Maddie Day), Death Over Easy

July 25th Shari Randall, Against The Claw

Our July Saturday Guest Blogger Schedule: 7/7--Mary Feliz, 7/14--Annie Hogsett, 7/21--Margaret S. Hamilton, 7/28--Kait Carson.

Our special bloggers for the fifth Monday and Tuesday of July--Kaye George and Paula Gail Benson.

Please welcome two new members to WWK--Annette Dashofy, who will blog on alternative Sundays with Jim Jackson, and Nancy Eady, who will blog on every fourth Monday. Thanks for blogging with us Annette and Nancy!

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Annette Dashofy's Uneasy Prey was released in March. It is the sixth Zoe Chambers Mystery. The seventh, Cry Wolf, will be released on September 18th. Look for E. B. Davis's interview with Annette on September 19th.

Carla Damron's quirky short story, "Subplot", was published in the Spring edition of The Offbeat Literary Journal. You can find it here: http://offbeat.msu.edu/volume-18-spring-2018/

Tina Whittle's sixth Tai Randolph mystery, Necessary Ends, debuts on April 3, 2018. Look for it here. Tina was nominated for a Derringer Award for her novelette, "Trouble Like A Freight Train Coming." We're all crossing our fingers for her.

James M. Jackson's Empty Promises, the next in the Seamus McCree mystery series (5th), was published on April 3, 2018. Purchase links are here. He's working on Seamus McCree #6 (False Bottom)

Dark Sister, a poetry collection, is Linda Rodriguez's tenth published book. It's available for sale here:

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.

Shari Randall's second Lobster Shack Mystery, Against the Claw, will be available in July 31, 2018.


Monday, July 5, 2010

What Mr. Ed Contributes to Writing

Mr. Ed, a talking horse featured in a short-lived 1960s TV show, never talked unless he had something to say. That’s how I feel about writing, and why I can’t understand why writers discipline themselves to write every day. Why write if you have nothing to say? Writing just to write is like talking just to talk. It doesn’t fill any purpose other than to fill the page, and if you throw the page away, what has been accomplished?

I weight train. Lifting weights also means not lifting weights. One day lift, the next day-don’t. Why? Muscles are broken down while lifting weights. The next day, taxing muscles in repair isn’t smart because you risk reinjuring the muscle. The process of lifting, breaking down, relaxing, repairing and then starting the process again strengthens muscles. I contend that the same process strengthens writing. It’s the process of revision, but revising what you’ve written is more than restyling a sentence.

My novel Sparkle Days is on a rest and repair stage. I question my approach and take a step back, evaluating the attributes and detriments of what I’ve written and mentally try out new approaches that might enhance the story. I fear that I’ve included backstory in the beginning that I should have kept secret and doled out in small allotments, keeping the reader guessing. But then, the story seems to have no logic without a basis. There is an approach, satisfying my needs, I just haven’t thought of it yet.

If I continue to write the story, using an approach I doubt, my dilemma is compounded, not solved, all the while being disciplined and virtuous, but to what end? I’d rather take the Mr. Ed approach and not write more until I’m sure that I’m taking the right angle. Once I decide on how to proceed, the writing won’t be a problem. I’m as disciplined as any writer is. But I have no need to write neurotically, just for the sake of writing. Without purpose, writing for the sake of writing is like brushing your teeth or hair to an exact count. It’s why I don’t join writing fests, in which writers try to compete against each other for the greatest word count. What’s the point if what you have written isn’t any good, or on revision cuts half of what you write, or worse, results in a major rewrite that is too daunting to contemplate?

Most writers keep more than one project at a time going. In my novel quagmire, I’ve written and revised two short stories. Some writers have two novels going at the same time. I’m envious of them because writing two novels at the same time is too complex for me to manage. Short story writing combined with one novel is a way for me to keep writing without bringing disastrous effects on my novel.

The two novels that I have written haven’t sold. I think that they’re good, but it’s the agents’ and publishers’ opinions that count, not my own. Writers write, but the writing is only one small part of their job. Knowing how to tell the story, tailoring the characters for the story and providing the clues and the right amount of backstory are all just as important if not more important than the writing. Don’t challenge yourself to write as much as getting what you write, right. If you don’t believe me, ask Mr. Ed, but if he greets you with silence, that may just be his horse sense talking.


Ramona said...

Isn't it interesting how different writers work in different ways? I am a member of the "do it every day" club. If I skip more than a day, I find it difficult to get my head back into the story. I waste a lot more time getting back into the groove than I would with writing something I may eventually discard.

But I also know writers who take the complete break approach, as you do. They pull away from the story for a while, so that when they get back to it, their eyes are (metaphorically) fresh.

Whatever works, I say.

Anonymous said...

I've always loved Mr Ed, and "Writers Who Kill" is one of the coolest blog names ever.

But in addition, this is a damn fine article. The first paragraph should be framed.

E. B. Davis said...

Thanks Michael. I'm glad you liked it and hope you'll come back. We trying new things on and taking old things off. So, stay tuned and sit tight. PS-I loved Mr. Ed too!