Writing Weary

Posting an excerpt may be a form of writerly laziness, but I fess up to being lazy these days anyway and for that reason I’ve been careful not to publicize this blog. For now this is just a quiet place for thoughts and noteworthy things I encounter as a writer. And what follows is a good example.

I was reading this fall’s edition of The New Quarterly which featured the winning entry for the 2014 Peter Hinchcliffe Fiction Award (in which my short story was a wounded soldier). Pamela Mulloy, member of the adjudicating panel, talked about the process of choosing a winning entry. Her words may just be the remedy for the abovementioned affliction:

It is not enough to write well, but to write convincingly, with depth but without melodrama, and to edit the work so that all the bumps and blemishes have been removed–we don’t want to slow down to observe the flaws, but rather in pausing, take in the brilliant turn of phrase, wince at a character’s bad choices, admire the rhythm and verve of the narrative.

Read the 1st Place Winner Taryn Pearcey’s Flash Forward. Story went straight to the heart without the detours and frills–I was left blinking back tears. Only a good story can leave you feeling gloomy and restored at once.

Okay, back to the blank page…