Tuesday, August 3, 2010

New Molotov Cocktail; Nathan Bransford on the One Question

Volume 1, Issue 10 of The Molotov Cocktail: almost as good as it gets. I'm only saying "almost" because, at this point, I think editor Josh Groller somehow attracts and finds the best in dark flash fiction, and he manages to wow me every issue.

Four stories each issue. This time, "Once" by Shea Newton got me giddy, but three other stories are fabulous in themselves. Josh is looking for the good stuff. You know you got it (am I looking at you, Chris Hugh? I think so!). Submit.


From Nathan Bransford's post last week, The One Question Writers Should Never Ask Themselves:

*And quod erat demonstrandum pro quo tempura I don't actually know Latin, the one question that aspiring writers should never ask themselves when reading a book is, "Do I like this?"

Here's the thing about the question "Do I like this?" Who is that question about? Well, it's about you. It's about your taste, and whether the book fit in with your likes and dislikes. It's not about the book. It's about you and whether the book spoke to you.

In other words, all you're learning about when you ask "Do I like this?" as you read a book is yourself.

Now, don't get me wrong. Knowing what you like is important. But by the time we're an adult we pretty much know our likes and dislikes. Sure, some things can take us by surprise (like my inexplicable and deep-seated love of The Bachelor), but plumbing the depths of our likes and dislikes is about entertainment, it's not knowledge that is overly helpful as a writer. Knowing your likes and dislikes will help you imitate, but it won't help you learn tools you can really use.*

Read the rest of his entry for more insightful information and different facets of this topic.

I realized that I tend to do just this: read and decide if I like it or not, and based on that, whether it's a good book or not. What am I taking away from the experience, what do I learn? This has given me a lot of food for thought over the last few days.

Have an excellent Tuesday, my friends. And heads up: Thursday, I'm up on Six Sentences, and soon (very soon, my preciouses), Cast Macabre. Muahahahaaha!

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