Hi all, I'm John. I've sold a couple of stories to small print mags and am in an upcoming anthology. I'm looking for folks who want to crit and be critted.
I've got several novels done and in the various stages of rewriting. One had an agent who I fired for not doing very much. I'm very prolific; I'm temporarily out of work due to an operation and have been using my time well. I do something I call a "story dump" once a year in which I take one month and write a short story a day every day. I then work on the results over the following weeks or months. I already did one in January and am working on the results.
I'm of the Algis Budrys school of writing; I like a story. My work is extremely dark and grusome sometimes; other stories have been called unbelievably sappy. Generally I write morality tales, some with very violent stuff, generally aimed at adults in terms of theme. Not saying it has loads of sex, just that I take my work seriously and put a lot into it.
Some writers who have influenced my work, so you can get an idea of what my stories are like: Harlan Ellison, Samuel R. Delany, Clifford Simak, Pauline Kael, Ethan Canin, Raymond Carver, Richard Matheson, Ray Bradbury, Alfred Bester, Andre Dubus, Thomas Pynchon, Jim Carroll, Harry Crews, Larry McMurtry. Hmm, from that you may get the idea I'm some kind of angry homosexual black man from New York who likes living on a farm and watching movies when I'm not performing surgery.... None of which is me. Oh well.
I think I'm a pretty good critic; I'm blunt, and will tell you I don't think your story is publishable, and why. I expect the same. I see no point in getting personal about such things either way and I try very hard to be polite. But I'm here to work.
I like working out, I collect film music on CD and album, I paint in acrylics, love movies, and by summer should be living in some part of the country I'm not even thinking about at this time. I've written screenplays for fun and have resisted the efforts of some friends with connections in LA to go out there and get my heart broken, because I'm too old for the business and can't deal with not being in control of my work.
I'm most interested in exchanging critiques with people of any age who are serious about their work and have some years of writing experience behind them. But am open to anyone.
Not sure if this is even the right place for this post, but thought I'd say hello and look forward to working with you folks.
Hi JohnS! Welcome. I think you'll get what you want here, and if not, *shrug* you might walk away with a story or two. And, let's not forget the HUB. I think it's at version 1.2 now.
Posts: 2710 | Registered: Jul 2004
I just completed something I try to do once a year--I call it The Story Dump. Granted that's not nearly as impressive sounding as the HUB, but it works for me. I take a month a year--this time in January--and write a complete first draft story each day.
This last one was very successful, am in the rewrite stage, but it was rewarding beyond the actual stories. I've written one story this month and it's among my best ever, and have started two others which I really like.
One thing I learned about my writing by this dump was how I've been relying far too much on traditional themes and elements (aka cliches). I noticed this when going over the stories and some needed radical overhauls.
So the three I started in Feb are, for me, conscious exercises in doing something radical, really letting loose the old imagination and not worrying so much about writing something for the reader--that comes later.
I know this sounds very Mickey Mouse, but after writing a long time you see these flaws and CLICK something slips into place, and you see WHY they're flaws, and what to do about them.
So the new ones this month are a love story involving what I think is a new take on reincarnation, almost a scientific take on it, a comedy involving a radio talk show, and a really bizarre horror story involving a can opener.
I got my HUB used, but it still functions 100%.
There are a few topics which talk about the HUB. I suggest doing a search in the Fragments and Feedback forum for "Trapped in Dallas" -- or "Destination Reyjavik" (sp? ah, just search on "destinaton". You can see the HUB in action in those two topics.
Welcome to Hatrack, hope you enjoy your stay.
[This message has been edited by HSO (edited February 23, 2005).]
""Well I wrote a short story tonight, my first in months but I'm optomistic that it will shortly be followed by many siblings.""
Good luck on that. I usually find that once I come off a novel or screenplay or nonfiction project, I get back to short stories by letting loose at the same time each day or night and just writing some idea I've been carrying around for awhile. It's also good not to be too critical in the first draft stage and just let 'er rip. So I hope you enjoy yourself and dive into those saved-up ideas.
I am new to the forum, but have participated in a couple of failed groups. It is disappointing that the groups did not work out. I hope to make a new start with more committed people by becoming a more prominent member of the forums. Who knows, mayby one day you all will even recognize my username. Wouldn't that be exciting?