A quarter of the way into Crossing the Tracks by Barbara Stuber, I really wanted to like it because it's so beautifully written and is local to me, but wasn't sure I'd be able to make myself care enough for the character and her issues, which seemed a little too removed from what I can relate to and bordering on the softly mundane.
The incomparable Kurt Vonnegut offers this advice in How to write with style:
Find a subject you care about and which you in your heart feel others should care about. It is this genuine caring, and not your games with language, which will be the most compelling and seductive element in your style. I am not urging you to write a novel, by the way -although I would not be sorry if you wrote one, provided you genuinely cared about something. A petition to the mayor about a pothole in front of your house or a love letter to the girl next door will do. --Kurt Vonnegut
Local author Natalie C. Parker's first novel has come out and it's a fantastic debut. Beware the Wild is a Southern Gothic fairy tale, with the quaint European village replaced by a rundown Louisiana town called Sticks and the fairy forest replaced with an eerie swamp infested with magic that's dark, rich and strange.
A picture is but a single moment, a frozen second of a story. If you know the context for the moment—who those pictured are, where they have come from, what they are moving toward—then it is part of a larger story. But if all you have is that picture and nothing more, then it is up to you to create the story it belongs in. For a starter, find a picture you know nothing about and invent the details around it.
According to author Brian Kiteley, the exercises in The 3 a.m. Epiphany: Uncommon Writing Exercises That Transform Your Fiction "are stretching exercises, warm-ups, and experiments in form and style that allow you to test the various possibilities of the craft of fiction."
This fall, Johnson County Library has been looking at race: stereotypes, self-awareness, and what it means to look beyond the surface. We’ve invited you to tell us how you have been affected by race. Justin Carter, in the following essay, shares his experience. As a suburban white woman, it’s easy to subconsciously, or otherwise, believe that issues of race don’t happen in my community, my city, or even my state. My country, sure, but that’s Missouri. That’s the other United States.
Is it time to write your story? If, like many, you are in the midst of NaNoWriMo (short for National Novel Writing Month - November!), you may well be on your way to writing your story. But for some of us, I suspect November has dribbled away and we haven’t even begun.
Don’t worry. We are here to help. And there’s still time to get started. Anytime is the perfect time to cuddle up with a pen and notebook.