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Saturday, 17 September 2011

Reading A Writer’s Mind: Exploring Short Fiction – First Thought to Finished Story


Reading A Writer’s Mind: Exploring Short Fiction – First Thought to Finished Story
Launch Offer: 99c / 86p

S.A. Linda Acaster is a writer whose name long-standing readers of this blog will recognise for the diverse range of her fiction. But she has another life…


L.A. Ho-ho… I have several actually, but this one began many years ago when I was better known for my short fiction. A creative writing tutor at a local Adult Education establishment asked if I’d mind stepping in while she visited her sister in Australia. The gig was two hours a week for five weeks.

Those five weeks turned into three years, and along the way I found I laid bare the mechanics of my own creative process. A stint with a distance learning college tutoring creative writing courses honed my explanatory skills on the page, and a host of how-to articles on the techniques of writing fiction followed in the writing press both in the UK and the USA. It is this experience that has been distilled into Reading A Writer’s Mind: Exploring Short Fiction – First Thought to Finished Story.

I’ve never been a writer who wrote in one style, in one genre, using one method of delivery, and this became key to the format of the book. Taking ten stories, I lead the reader from the initial idea trigger, through the story itself, to an in-depth commentary covering the options considered and the decisions made during the writing. The stories were chosen to highlight particular techniques within a specific genre, for instance:

* Lyrical narrative v terse dialogue; using tone as a descriptive tool (Mainstream)
* A calendar structure using the Tell technique (Women’s Fiction)
* Working with parallel storylines via past and present tense (SF)

There are suggestions for experimenting with each set of techniques discussed, and the book wraps up with a section on common editing concerns. Like this blogpost, I use an accessible, chatty style and pull no punches about rewrites and the problems I faced. I aim for my experience to feed into your fiction.

Other books focusing on aspects of writing fiction are in the pipeline, each under the banner Reading A Writer’s Mind.

For the rest of September Reading A Writer’s Mind: Exploring Short Fiction – First Thought to Finished Story is on a launch offer:

Smashwords for I-Pad, Nook, Sony, Kindle, etc, use the 66% discount code BN46H at checkout.

For more information on all Linda Acaster’s work:
http://twitter.com/#!/lindaacaster

For my review of this excellent volume see http://stuartaken.blogspot.com/2011/09/review-of-reading-writers-mind.html  It's just a short scroll down this page!

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