All posts filed under: Writing

Film

I spent about ten years trying to make a film that would get noticed by Hollywood-types. I got so far as to have a short featured on the IFC Channel’s Media Lab Shorts Uploaded before realizing that the novel might suit me better. However, I’ve never completely lost my interest in film, so I’m currently learning a bit about cinematography. It’s possible that filmmaking is as integral to me as ever because one of the driving forces behind my writing is the possibility of seeing a novel adapted into a film. The last manuscript I submitted to agents was written as a screenplay first. I used it as a kind of outline. I like to see the writing I do as cinematic. I think it is, in part, because I write by watching the film version in my head, transcribing what I see. I’m not sure if that’s unusual, but that’s the way I do it. However, I might want to be careful when it comes to adaptations. In a commentary, Michael Crichton said: “…Whenever …

Rejection

Between novels, short stories, and, now, a mini-documentary, I find myself submitting to agents, journals, and festivals almost continuously. This means that rejection is my constant companion. And it can be pretty hard to handle. When I’m faced with a barrage of emails that say, “Not for us,” or “No thanks,” it’s vital that I keep a level head. Especially because rejection has several meanings, which I think tend to fall into one of the following categories: Insufficient Quality Excessive Quantity Lack of Compatibility Extreme Exclusivity Admittedly, insufficient quality is a depressing reason to be rejected, but it’s not the most frustrating. If the work isn’t of a high enough quality, it can be improved, so there’s hope. All that’s necessary is more work. Sometimes years of work. When it comes to issues of quantity, we can find that our work has been edged out by similar writing or a piece that has been written by someone of higher stature. In other words, the market is flooded. If work is sent to an agent or …

Slowing Down

After almost a decade of writing fiction every day, I’ve decided to slow down. There are several reasons, but I think it can be summed up best by something I heard at a family dinner recently: “If you hate it, why do it?” I don’t hate writing. Far from. I’m finding that my current novel is some of the best work I’ve done yet. And I’m beginning to wonder if that’s not a direct result of slowing down. This is far from certain. It could just be that I’m continuing to improve over time. Regardless, I’ve gone from writing seven days a week to about four, which is allowing me to spend more time mulling over scenes while simultaneously leaving me a lot less frustrated. I can usually turn out a complete manuscript in a year (including four or so drafts). This new schedule means it’s going to take almost two, and that delays my next shot at getting an agent. That’s the real crux of this issue. But I’ve started to think agents don’t …

Bourdain

I’ve been inspired by Anthony Bourdain’s work for years. He was an award-winning writer and an extremely effective one but his travels might be the real reason I considered him one of my heroes. …