On Monogamy

Dear Future Publisher,

I’ve been cheating on you.

But here’s the thing.  I never promised to be exclusive.

I love what we share.  I love weaving worlds with the written word.  I love everything I do for you, for us.  Every minute of it.

But when I swore I was passionate about this, I never promised I had no other interests.  I didn’t vow to be monogamous to writing, to put it before all other interests and deny myself all other pleasures.  I didn’t say, “I will love this and only this.”

I want to please you, but I also have to please myself.

I know what you’re thinking – what is she getting at?

I cheated.  It’s true.  I cheated with theatre. Continue reading

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On Scripting a Novel

Dear Future Publisher,

I have noticed an interesting pattern in the way I write dialogue.  The influence of my theatre days is clear, because I approach scenes that are heavy in dialogue on a first pass almost like I am writing a script.  I write the words that are spoken and include only the most essential of actions, such as those demanded by the dialogue itself.  That’s what I see, at first.  I write the bones, tapping into what the characters are trying to communicate and how.  Then, I look at the bones of the script I have composed with an actor’s or a director’s eye, and think about the way those words play out in my head, the stage business that helps to highlight them and provides texture and visual interest, the times when it is necessary – since this is not a script and my reader will not be watching an actor perform it – to include reference to tone or volume or some other aspect of delivery, or to mention the surrounding environment, or to provide insight into the character’s thoughts or feelings, since these, too, will not be playing out on a stage.  I give my characters words Continue reading

On the Virtues of Rejection

Dear Future Publisher,

I am not unaccustomed to rejection.  After several years in amateur and youth theatre, and a couple of further years trying to break into professional theatre, I have learned to expect and accept rejection at least some of the time.  It still feels personal, even though you are assured it isn’t, but you learn to bounce back and keep trying.  Directors have preconceptions and preferences, and you will not always be the right actor for that role or that production.  It does not mean that you are a terrible actor (even if it sometimes feels like that is the only thing it could mean).  It does not mean that you should have chosen a different monologue, or rehearsed more, or worn that low-cut blouse.  It does not mean that you are unworthy, or doomed to failure.  It happens, for a myriad of reasons, and you eventually learn not to let it break your heart every time, and to move on. Continue reading

On Iambic Pentameter and Literary Athletics

Dear Future Publisher,

Today I wrote a short story.

I wrote it because of you.

And here’s the thing: I really struggle with short stories.

I don’t like writing them.  I don’t even like reading them, for the most part.  All of the joy I normally get from writing becomes a mundane chore when I try to write short fiction.  It becomes, “I guess I have to write this thing…or I could not, and take a nap”, instead of “OH BOY I GET TO WRITE, IT’S MY FAVOURITE”.  So, basically, when I write short stories, I’m a cat.  When I write novels, I’m a puppy. Continue reading

Author Seeks Publisher

Author seeks publisher for amazing partnership, and also to make enough money that I can move out of my parents’ house and you can buy a second uptown condo or Ferrari or whatever.

Must love books (and if you’re a publisher and you don’t, I have some serious questions about your life choices).

Must have sense of humour.  Must comprehend sarcasm, even in print (it is my native tongue). Continue reading