Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Why of No One Heard, No One Cared

I wrote several short or flash fiction in this blog as a means to test the waters of my writing and the readership I received. I also tested myself. One test in particular stood out. This test was one where I asked myself if I could write something that I hated. And not just hated but deplore.

So I wrote No One Heard, No One Cared. It's a fictional depiction of the attitudes of the public in Nazi Germany. Indifference was the real crime. To get to that point, I had to use things I abhorred: Nazis, violence against children, and violence against women.

I cringed all the way through the story and still do at the very thought of it. I had to put aside my feelings to write it. I hope I passed the test. I think I did a remarkable job.

But enough patting myself on the back. I thought I owed my readers a reason why that story was in my collection. Why such a disgusting thing would make it into words.

I read the newspaper articles and read detestable things people do to one another. I ask myself how could people do these things to people. They blow children up. They drown children. They eat people. They rape and murder young, old, or any woman. They shoot and kill people for a few bucks in a wallet.

These things are mindless and ultimately stupid acts of violence. I say stupid because it's the uneducated, the undisciplined, or the untreated who commit these acts.

These things exist in the world and ultimately in a good book of fiction these acts are going to pop up as well. So, as detestable as they are, I have to know how to write about them.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Short Story Criticism Cringe

*Sigh* So I wrote this Science Fiction short story I intend to submit to a magazine to publish. It's charming, out there, and fun. At least I think so. *Rolling eyes*

Well, I'm doing this because Ann Leckie, author of Ancillary Justice, spoke at St Louis Writers Guild in July and said that she recommended that new writers go the short story route to experience submission and all that goes with it. That echoes Steven King's recommendations and experience as well.

So I'm tediously balancing myself on the shoulders of modern commercial literary giants. Just one misstep...and...SPLAT.

I followed all the submission rules and all the manuscript formatting rules. Now, I'm coaxing friends and coworkers to read my work and become Beta Readers. Who knows what I did with the Alpha Readers. They probably got ate up by the crocodile in the dungeon or something.

I handed the manuscript to my first Beta Reader yesterday. A few hours later he said he read it and then said he would write comments. I said thanks and that I appreciate it. I left the room and immediately felt a crinkling happening in my intestines. It was the oddest of sensations. Yep, no doubt about it, I was cringing. Anxiety is taking over now. Gah!

'Till next time.