Reading With Purpose
If you haven’t already read the February 2011 issue of The Writer Magazine, I highly recommend grabbing a copy of it and absorbing it from front to back. Not only does the reader learn about the latest contest winner and get to read a super-interesting new story, but there are also several lessons in writing that will hold their footing anywhere.
A profile that will grab your attention and hold it for as long as you have memory is one written by Bob Blaisdell. He writes about a little recognized writer by the name of Jorge Luis Borges.
This man who had almost no vision is described as “a thoroughly literary being” and from the examples given of his talent, I’d have to agree. He did things with words and concepts that I’ve never seen before. And now that I’ve seen those examples, I’ll never look at my writing the same way again. His one piece of advice for writers was “Let your imagination out to play.”
Though he’s gone now his writings and his examples will live on to inspire and instruct those who’ve come after. Be sure to study Borges’s technique as revealed in Blaisdell’s profile of this little-known author.
Mark Wagstaff’s prize-winning story is showcased along with a great little biography of the writer. The magazine also chose to annotate with the contest judge’s evaluation and reasons for choosing this story as the winner. This read shows much of what a current editor might be looking for in submissions in the way of style, tautness of structure, etc. There’s a lot packed into less than 2000 words here.
Literary fiction author, Charles Baxter does an interview with Luke Reynolds. Baxter talks about how writers need to remain true to their stories and the characters who live within them. Reynolds calls Baxter one of the contemporary masters of literary fiction. That’s a title hard to come by today. If you want to see how a modern literary author, with stories made into movies, thinks and works, this should be a can’t-miss interview for you.
Stephen Delaney takes the reader into the mind of the character by showing how to use the character’s thoughts to help tell important parts of the story as well as unveil character backstory, personality traits, physicality, etc. without having to use narrative in the usual way. His point is to show how to create the drama of a piece by using those thoughts. This was a great instruction piece and well worth holding on to, regardless of the genre involved in one’s writing.
There are more interviews, more instruction pieces, and oodles of extras that The Writer is so good at laying at the feet of writers. And if you can’t get your hands on the physical magazine, drop onto the website at: www.WriterMag.com/
Peruse the website and enjoy all the goodies available there. Sign up to get updates, if you wish. They come in handy.
And in case anyone wonders if this is advertising for the mag, I can tell you that they don’t need me to spread the word about their offerings. I just wanted to clue in those who don’t already subscribe or visit the site as to what they’re missing. This month’s issue is an especially good one. At least, for me it was.
Next time I’ll deal with another subject. Have a magnificent week, all. Until you drop in again, a bientot.