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Friday Finds for Writers

Treasure ChestWriting-related resources, news, and reflections to read over the weekend.

  • The benefits of reverse-outlining, according to fictionist Aaron Hamburger.
  • Big news from the Poetry Foundation: Robert Polito will be its next president.
  • So many people have been recommending “Salon’s Guide to Writing a Memoir” this week, but I can’t get past Lauren Slater’s advice–which reminds me how much (and why) I loathed Lying, which I was required to read as an MFA student. (Too bad, too, because I’d admired Slater’s previous memoirs.)
  • I love this free, downloadable “success chart” that’s offered on poet Kelli Russell Agodon’s blog.
  • Steve Almond explains “Why I Write Smut: A Manifesto.”
  • Have a wonderful weekend, all. See you back here on Monday.

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    5 Responses »

    1. That article on Salon…

      Well, I’ve hated 85% of the memoirs I’ve ever read, so I’m pretty biased. But I’m all over Ta-Nehisi Coates’s advice (despite the F-bomb) and agree Lauren Slater’s advice is just ridiculous. If you want to write a reimagined life, say “fiction” or “a life, reimagined” or something like that. I borrow from real life for big chunks of my own fiction. But to say something is memoir and fill in blanks or creatively embellish is “lying” as her own book title says. You can pull off one book with that title, but after that, you’re not practicing the art of writing, your marketing on a pretty skanky level. Giving this out as advice is extremely poor judgment.

      IMHO.

    2. Over on the Pulp Factory mailing list Sean Taylor was collecting writer input for his blog. The subject was “Plotting VS (Seat of the) Pantsing” in story creation. (Pulp Factory writers tend to work from 15K to 150K words in various high adventure genre.) After the first round of comments died down I shared the Reverse Outlining link. That generated quite a bit of comment.

      I also mentioned your blog in my post. So if some other wild and wooly characters show up here, you’ll know why.

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