Coming Attractions and Burning Questions: What Do You Want to Hear?

Since I'm new to the blog, I thought I'd turn the tables and ask what you're struggling with about writing. What are some questions you have? Today I sat and brainstormed possible topics for my part of the blog, and thought I'd let you help me narrow them down. Here are just a few titles of possible blogs. Which ones would you be most interested in? And what else are you grappling with right now?

Possible Blogs:

On Craft:

Characterizing from the inside out: Why I heart Laurie Halse Anderson

3 Things genre writers can learn from literary fiction (and vice-versa)

First Chapters: What We Risk When We Put it All Up Front

Why Violence Can Be Boring--and How to Handle it So it's Not

On The Writing Life:

Balance and the Writer's Life: Is it Possible to be a writer and remain sane, social and healthy?

What We Give Up to Write--and What We Shouldn't

Best day (or night) jobs for writers

If I ever make it, I still want to be nice

"A Clean, Well-lighted Place:" Why a writer's work space matters

"I'm just a girl who can't say no:" Why Saying "no" is hard for writers, and what to do about it

On MFA Programs and Formal Training:

What you'll learn from an MFA program

What an MFA won't teach you

What admissions committees look for when choosing applicants

5 things I wish I'd known before I started my program


These all sound terrific. I'd love to hear about lessons literary and genre writers can learn from each other. (As a genre gal, I've studied and learned to appreciate and apply techniques from literary writing, but there often seems a great - and unnecessary - divide between the two types of writers. It's a snobbism runs both ways, and serves no one at all.

Would love to hear more about MFA programs as well. I started aiming in that direction at UH but changed my mind (for fear my true writing ambitions would be stomped out) and have often wondered about the path not taken.
Joni Rodgers said…
Sounds interesting, Doc.

I'd love to see some targeted advice on short fiction craft. And do keep us posted on what you're reading on any given day!
Mylène said…
I was about to write what Colleen just did on the literary fiction/genre fiction conversation (since I'm a lit gal who has learned and continues to learn a great deal from genre romance and mystery, and would love to hear more talk on this). Also dig the first chapter topic.
Ha, if I were pressed to expose my "mission" in life, it would be to get genre and literary writers talking. You're exactly right that the snobbism runs both ways, Colleen, and what most amazes me about it is that writers from the two groups seldom even want to touch books from the other. As if somehow they'll be tainted. Interesting!
Sharon Lovering said…
I'd love to see the one about a clean, well-lit place. I've found myself needing a bit more light lately while I'm working (OK, and my glasses too), and my desk, hard as I try, never stays neat.
I would love to know more about the publishing biz for someone (me) who is just starting out. In other words, how do I get the ball rolling? Any links would help, too.

-your old UHCL student, Dan R.
Good to see you here, Dan! Wow! And I love the blog! I will have to let Joni and Colleen take that one, and Mylene, when she starts posting, since I am such a newbie. Stay tuned, though, because I am going to post about my own journey a bit. It's just that mine has been a bit strange so far.

I am thinking about writing a post about researching literary agents too, since I am in the process of doing that. Would also very much like to hear the other novelists' views of this.

Thanks so much for writing!