Posted on November 6, 2015 by betsylerner
I read this story by Ben Marcus on the way home from the city. I don’t really like short stories all that much, but I loved this one. In part because it was like a novel in a nutshell. Partly because I felt tense the entire time I was reading it. I also thought that the details had god in them; the narration so assured I did’t need to worry. And most of all it felt real.
Is is real or is it Memorex?
Filed under: fiction, Short stories, The New Yorker, Writing | Tagged: Ben Marcus, The New Yorker, writing | 9 Comments »
Posted on July 27, 2015 by betsylerner
When do you take revision too far? When does your work start unraveling? When does writing become finger painting? Some people feel that revision is where the “real” work of writing gets done. Maybe. But there’s nothing like cracking a new piece of work out of your ass. Here’s my advice: Get lots of rest. Drink lots of water. Clear your desk. Trust your editor or readers. Keep a separate document for sentences you delete. I call mine: fragments. Do you have to kill your darlings? Execution-style.
Revision advice? Anyone?
Filed under: REvision, Writing | 16 Comments »
Posted on August 21, 2014 by betsylerner
One good paragraph today. Where is my Nobel? My Oscar? My Captain, O Captain. Is that the soundtrack to Chariots of Fire I hear in the background? Oh, the sweet feet of young, gorgeous Englishmen. I need a shower. I need a brace for my back. I need a teeth cleaning, someone to pull the burrs from my back. This writing is whack. The world is burning and tap tap tap. More valleys than peaks, more praying mantises and saddle shoes. When the balls goes crack. Keep your head down. Don’t try to kill it. Don’t get cocky. Follow through.
More bad sports metaphors welcome!
Filed under: Writing | 23 Comments »
Posted on March 28, 2014 by betsylerner
A writer and a douche bag walk into a bar. Hi guys. Is anybody still out there? I miss you. I know a few writers whose mouths are filled with sand. This is the winter when five writers packed a lunch and hiked the foothills of Long Island. This is when a poem got unwritten. You are always in a mitten. This day started. A girl fell to her death from a building she didn’t know was there. I saw a play that seemed true. First you hear the sentence in your head. Then a girl steps up to the bar. You are easily awakened and fitful. A bowl of applesauce sounds awfully nice right now. Will the fiction writers please stand up. Will the choir do the preaching? One chapter a month. One page a day. One sentence in front of another. And then the sky goes dark and the lights come up and two girls in Speedos stand before lockers, talking trash.
How do you get to Carnegie Hall?
Filed under: Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged: bar jokes, fiction, insomnia, poets, writers | 27 Comments »