I Got Surprised…
Really surprised, to be honest. You see, every writer who sent me stories for each month this fall is a Pulphouse Fiction Magazine subscriber. Just to send in stories you had to have backed the Pulphouse Kickstarter campaign.
Now, I grant you, there is no way to figure out what kind of story I might buy because I pride myself on making sure that no story in Pulphouse is like any other story. You never know what you are going to get in topic and genre from story to story. And I love to be surprised on topics just like my readers.
But one thing is for certain, all the stories in every issue are high quality, pull the reader into the story, and have great characters. Yet in story after story sent in to me, it feels like the writer didn’t bother to read even an issue of the magazine.
Otherwise there would be depth and pacing and so on in the submission stories.
I just recorded this week’s videos in Creative Survival on learning and practicing. Just typing story after story without learning as you go will not get you anywhere. (Yes, you can still sign up for Creative Survival on Teachable. Only on the 4th week of 52 weeks.) You have to be hungry for knowledge while you write.
This last week Kris taught 14 professional writers for four days here in Las Vegas. The reason those 14 professional writers are selling novels and stories and doing great with their careers is because they are hungry to learn. Really hungry. And even though they are all doing great, they spent their time and money to come here and write in hotel rooms and learn. And trust me, Kris gives them their money’s worth in learning.
That’s the way I have been every day since I started writing. Hungry to learn. I never start a story or a novel without telling my creative voice what we are practicing. Never have missed on that. It is part of why Kris and I keep teaching. It keeps us learning as well.
After this workshop, Kris and I started DIRECTED STUDY. It is not a class and it is not something for accountability like a challenge. It is just guidance on what to study to get better.
This is just me and Kris learning a bunch about a writer and their goals, looking at a sample or samples of their work, and giving them a path of study to get better. Books to read, workshops to take, things to practice so the writer can take their work to the next level. No time limit, just Kris and I suggesting a path of study. (And yes, if interested, write me directly.)
So what in the reading of stories brought this all up today? Characters.
Pulphouse stories are full to the brim with characters and fantastic character voice. You have to know depth to get great character voice. Just reading a couple of issues would make that crystal clear.
Yet for some reason, in my reading a lot of stories pulled me in until I realized there was no character and no character voice. And then I stopped.
So add to the list of what causes me to stop reading No Character Voice.