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Packing Heat 096: Multiples

What are some ways in which "multiples" can work for your writing?
  • Always have multiple submissions making the rounds if you're looking to break in to publishing
  • Don't be afraid to write multiple stories with the same theme
  • If you're stuck, coax yourself back to the keyboard for multiple (and nonthreatening) 10-minute sessions
  • Try out a scene that's not working multiple ways

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( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 17th, 2010 10:36 pm (UTC)
Some really good advice!. The 2nd one - multiple stories with the same theme - how far do you take your definition of a theme? Curious, because that's something I struggle with.
Mar. 18th, 2010 09:37 am (UTC)
I think it's a bit tricky because you don't want to tell the same story over and over again. It's totally possible to have a theme keep returning. I would almost say it's inevitable.

The example I use in the podcast is my Petit Morts stories, which were written over the 4-month span in which I decided to quit my day job, resigned, then waited 2 more months for the job to be finished. All three stories are about taking a leap of faith and embracing a new beginning. And yet all three are quite different stories.

Definition of a theme is slippery, isn't it? I might call it a core concept behind the action.
Mar. 19th, 2010 12:11 am (UTC)
The definition of certainly slippery, but this helps. Thanks much.
Mar. 18th, 2010 09:04 am (UTC)
That's really interesting, because I often find myself returning to a theme. This allows me acceptance for that! Not that I should be surprised - there can't be THAT many new themes at this stage of life! And when I'm pleased with a fictional scene, it seems a pity to use its theme just the once.

The situations I find it the most are when I've used a theme/scene for a short, but feel I'd like to experiment with it in a longer work as well one day. Or a particular story never really took off, but I'd like to use the scenes in other stories, or on their own as shorts.

Mind you, someone commented recently on GoodReads that some of my shorts all seemed to read the same! :(
Mar. 18th, 2010 09:42 am (UTC)
In a way I feel like using a certain theme is like cooking chicken. I could have chicken every night of the week and not be bored with it--but hopefully the rest of the dish is different enough. So the "rest of the dish" is character, setting, and even the specific actions that happen in the story.

I've convinced myself to not read reviews and comments on my stories anymore. A slew of 2-starrers (on Thaw, no less...a free story...some people just have to bitch) had me ready to hang up my keyboard and go work at McDonald's last week. It's just not worth the angst.

It's up there with my "won't do popularity contests" anymore. Part of being creative is being vulnerable, and if you're vulnerable, you're easily hurt.
Mar. 19th, 2010 05:51 am (UTC)
I love the chicken analogy. And it's particularly apt because I love chicken too! :)

*pets* about the story comments. You need to be emailing me, hon, when these things get you down, so we can vent together :). But like you, I'm learning to step away. People will like your work or not, and you can't do a darn thing about it most of the time. And I think an author has to protect her/himself if they know the negative comments have a disproportionate effect. I agree with the creative=vulnerable.

Remember the pleasure and reward you gave from writing and make sure to read some of the great reviews you've had, from people/places you respect.
*more random hugs*
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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