About Writers, Stories, Uncategorized, Writers Co-op

Transitions

We all die. If we’re lucky, we grow old first. Just one of the many things writers must know to connect with readers. Between youth and old age, life transitions and stories happen, real stories that, when well told, connect with most people regardless of their beliefs, culture or ethnicity.

The great writers have told these stories well and great writers will continue to do so. It is worth wondering, are the stories we tell in this tradition? Or, are they cobbled together out of currently popular bits? Do we write only for money? Are we afraid to say anything others will find politically incorrect? Dare we write truths that offend whole groups? “The writer’s job is to tell the truth,” Ernest Hemingway said.

Personally, I suspect we all have truth in us. And all writers have stories that are difficult to write because their truths are unpopular, politically incorrect and offensive. That too, is one of the things that writers know. But these are the stories that last. Because these are the realities that readers know.

Write something true before it is too late.

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8 thoughts on “Transitions

  1. mimispeike says:

    Yeah, I’m afraid to say anything offensive, it may come back to bite me. I’ll have people gunning for me when I publish myself. I see plenty promoted on Facebook that offends me. People read that crap, and love it? Boggles the mind.

    A book should make us more connected to humanity, even if it is about a guy named Old Spice. (And your thing does that, wonderfully.) What was it about E.T. that won our hearts? “Phone home’ is a universal desire.

    Outstanding fiction speaks of what we are and what we are not, who we might be, who we may never be, all of that sloppy, thought-provoking stuff. And entertains us at the same time. The market for that is growing smaller all the time.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. mimispeike says:

    FYI: My Mac is shutting down on me again. I’m tracking it. So far, about every twenty minutes. It will have to go into repair for a few days. Or I may need to buy a new one. This one is eight years old. The Apple phone person said, when I gave her the serial number, oh, you have a vintage machine. That made me feel swell, I can tell you.

    The fix of a week ago is, apparently, no fix. But I can get online downstairs, on another machine.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. mimispeike says:

    Okay, I’m on my big Mac downstairs. It has problems also. After the iMac gets repaired, this one has to go in. I can work on it for now. What I can’t do is work in Word, I never installed it down here. I will now try to find that software and put it on here.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Perry Palin says:

    I’ve grown old, so there’s some luck in that.

    I’ve written stories that have found an appreciative audience, and stories that have been panned. And sometimes it’s the same story.

    One of my favorites is a coming of age story where the boy turns away from the girl to pursue his blood sport, fishing. The fishermen who read it say they love the story. Every woman who has commented thought it was terrible. The fishermen were my target audience, so I got what I wanted.

    I once attended an informal writing competition in a neighboring town. The group that hosted the event was mostly older women. A thin woman with blue hair was struggling in the parking lot with her purse and the pan of bars she had baked for the snack table. I offered to help. She didn’t trust me with the bars, but she let my carry her purse inside. The competition was judged by a complicated weighted voting protocol, with all attendees having the chance to weigh in. Most of the pieces that were read were about flower gardens, spring sunshine, or grandchildren. I read a story about a man being shot dead in a bar fight. When the votes were tallied I finished out of the money and I knew why.

    We should write true stories. We should write them with a target audience in mind. I’ve never written a story where the audience was the world. I may not have enough truths for that.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Perry Palin says:

      Thanks, Mimi. The audience was attentive. When I finished reading one of the few men in the room shouted, “Is that a real story?”

      My story was scored by the group in the middle of the field, far behind one about a bird landing on a tree branch outside a kitchen window. I knew that would happen before I got up, and that was okay. I went to the event for a learning experience, and I learned something.

      Last week I went to read a story at the release of a small literary journal at a nearby community college.The mostly female student editorial staff published my story about a kid learning to smoke cigarettes. I submitted two stories, and they did not publish the better one, about the anguish of a young man who loves a woman but does not ask her out because he believes she is engaged. I learned something there too.

      I want to write a post about the care and feeding of publishers and editors I have known, but right now my horses and barn cats are calling for their breakfasts. I have to hear them.

      Liked by 3 people

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