Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Know Thy Craft

...a working knowledge of craft is almost always necessary to make a story really good... – Alexander Steele in Gotham Writers' Workshop Writing Fiction: the practical guide from New York's acclaimed creative writing school.
As an editor, I’m continually surprised when I read submissions that demonstrate the author’s lack of knowledge about writing. To me, gaining this knowledge is a necessary part of the writing process. I read about writing, take classes, and analyze stories -- not in as much depth as I should -- in an effort to figure out what makes a story interesting and why some tales don’t hold my attention. I put all I learn in that mixing bowl that’s known by others as my brain, stir the ideas round and round, and use the results in my own stories. I believe I’m a better writer for making the effort to learn about my craft. And I suppose I should thank all those authors who feel this isn’t necessary, or who are too lazy to do it. It makes my decision as an editor to reject their submissions an easy one.

1 comment:

GutsyWriter said...

This is just what I needed to hear, as I signed up for an on-line advanced memoir class through Gotham Writers' Workshop. I'm in the revision phase of my memoir and hope I can adapt what I've already written, to the weekly lectures and homework assignments.