Part II of the ASU Desert Nights Rising Stars Writers Conference

Welcome to Part II: 

On Saturday afternoon we had the opportunity to hear from Victor LaValle.  I will summarize this course, "Got Plot" with some great tips and notes.  (My black journal is covered with 35 more pages of ink because of this conference....)

You can sway a reader if you state it with confidence. 
We used the story excerpt from The Deadly Circle by Samuel Fuller and San Francisco by Amy Hempel.  Two very different plots and one was much easier to decipher than the other.  But once we were shown how the writer was guiding us, this reading opened up opportunities for us in our own writing. 

He finished with another statement:  The writer should be calm and assertive.  I will take those words with me, for sure!!

Later that afternoon and before closing, I along with others attended two more discussions.  The next was with Naeem Murr, Meeting the Stranger.  He used a great analogy of dreams and how there are no uncesssary 'inputs' in dreams... everything is there for a reason in our dreams!!  So do the same thing in your writing.  If it really is not necessary, if you cannot explain the significance, and if your reader cannot understand it.. well then kill your little darling.  Convince the reader.  We discussed Flannery O'Conner, A Good Man is Hard to Find and I have actually been reading her stories before the conference.  There was not much discussion but rather a lot of speaking by Naeem.  He has a lot of great information. 

I finished the day with Submitting to Literary Journals!!!  I was pleasantly surprised to hear them say, they typically skip cover letters and in most cases, most journals don't even ask for a cover letter.. They get right to the work.  I agree!!  The "Hook" was a topic and of course when you are reading thousands of submissions and will only publish a handful, you need a hook.  Make the writing stand up on its own and lesson learned; don't try to be cute, just write well!!  Finally, do not put any work in its full form on a blog or website if you plan on submitting it for publication consideration.  If you do so, well guess what?  By putting it out there, you have published it.  You would think this would be obvious but the editors explained they have had this happen. 

Some great places suggested for Literary Journal submissions-   New Pages   Luna Park   Lit List Review and cwrwopps plus the Million Writers Award.  I have yet to go to any of these, so I hope they are correct if you go looking.  If not, please comment if you have the correct site!!

Thank you for reading and check back on Friday for the Final Part III


Meryl Jaffe, PhD said...

Hi Adrian. Thanks for the shoutout - I appreciate it (you just got the name wrong - but I still appreciate it and just LOVE your comments on my blog). I also must say that I have learned a lot from these last posts. I am writing nonfiction but so much of the advice seems to hold true.

Thank you again and I look forward to hearing good news from you,

Meryl Jaffe

Adrian said...

I am so sorry Meryl!! My most humble apologies and thank you! Just left you a comment!


Laura said...

I really like Murr's insights here. Nothing unnecessary. It's something I really need to work on, I think.

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I figured things out late in life, like what I wanted to do, getting married (age 30), having kids, (36 and 38) and changing degrees about 3 times. Now as a cop of 19 years and in my mid 40's, I am finally figuring out some things. My first career or dream of becoming a writer is playing more in my head and daily life than ever. I love it. Thus the blog. It is all mine. I also love being a mother. They are all ours. I love my husband and as a cop, wow.. have I seen some things. Street degree. I got it. Let us learn together. I also am on She Writes.