Wednesday, September 5, 2012

It's Your Turn To Help Me



I need your help today. I'm a workshop presenter at our Kansas Authors state convention next month. I've been mulling over what things I'm going to include. "Creative Non-fiction and Writing for Anthologies" is the title of my presentation.

As a writer, or perhaps even as a reader, what would you like to know about those two subjects? I'd love to have you send questions to help me make final decisions as to what I will include. The reason I'm asking for your input is that some of you might come up with something I haven't considered yet.

So, how about it? I try to help you through this blog with tips and encouragement for writers as well as book reviews for readers.

Now it's your turn. What burning question dealing with creative non-fiction and writing for anthologies is keeping you up nights? If you're not pacing the floor worrying about this, then how about a question that you'd like to have answered?


7 comments:

  1. Not so much a question as a comment, that everyone has a story, a history. Everyone is interesting, funny, original, they just haven't tapped into their belief in themselves. Writing about oneself is like telling a story to a friend. Just tell it. Then worry about the editing. You've probably already considered that. :o) Jaye

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  2. Not so much a question as a comment, that everyone has a story, a history. Everyone is interesting, funny, original, they just haven't tapped into their belief in themselves. Writing about oneself is like telling a story to a friend. Just tell it. Then worry about the editing. You've probably already considered that. :o) Jaye

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  3. Nancy, one question I have for you, is, how does one decide what to isolate and write about in a short piece of creative non-fiction. I have trouble deciding where to start and where to finish for each given piece. That alone, keeps me from even starting sometimes. How does one segment out a piece of it, and not make it too long?

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  4. A good question. To keep it short, you need to first know what it is you are attempting to show your reader with your story, why you are writing it, what universal truth does it have. Then, be sure you stay on topic, don't ramble off or add backstory--tempting as it might be! Begin with the action, the event, the situation rather than an introductory paragraph leading up to the meat of the story. Start with that and you'll hook your reader right away. Stay on track to reach the concluding paragraphs, and you should be able to keep your word count reasonable.

    Thanks for your question.

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  5. My "question" is more along the comment line also...
    In creative non-fiction, the main point or key to being a good story for me anyway, is if it moves me. Does the story touch a chord in my heart or bring a tear to my eye, a moment of recognition that I can truly relate to in some way?
    I am not so much wrapped up in the "how" to write that effective short story as to the "why's" behind it.
    Chances are, if a life event affected me in some way for good or bad, it may well have that same affect on a reader who just may think they're "the only one" who's ever experienced an event which they might find out in the reading of the story, is a more common experience to all, than they ever thought. Each person experiences things differently in life and seeing an event through other eyes is always a wonderful bit of insight.

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  6. I look forward to reading your blog! I find encouragement, hope, humor and helpful tips that have helped me along the way.
    I have a couple questions for you that I hope help you with your workshop.
    1. How do you write without editing as you go? (I have a horrible habit of trying to fix as I go)
    2. Do you have any pointers on showing vs telling (something else I'm working on)
    3. How do you pick your POV and how do you make sure you stay in it or if you change POV is there a right/wrong way to do so.
    4. How do you pick the contests/anthologies you enter?
    5. Any advice for new writers trying to get themselves out there in the writing world? Any contests that are better for beginners?

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  7. Mine isn't a question, but more of a suggestion to wanne-be writers, if I may? I would encourage writers to start their story with a punch, something to catch the reader's interest immediately. None of this setting the stage etc., as that can follow later to fill in the gaps. Nothing worse than starting to read something and the beginning is so boring, you almost don't want to continue. Don't start with "I was born in Tallahassee in 1945 and was a sickly baby because..." Instead, write "The day I was born, I had already begun to die." I love stories where the beginning startles and amazes me, leaving me wanting more right away.
    Maria Harden

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