Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sunday Links & The Week in #storyeachnight: February 19, 2012 Edition

As I mentioned last week, one routine I've picked up recently is reading a short story every day/night and tweeting about it under the #storyeachnight hashtag. I'm going to list the stories along with whatever comments I made about them on Twitter and any other thoughts that come to mind here in my weekly link roundpost post. Below are this week's stories:

2/12 - "Love Story" by Eric Frank Russell from MICROCOSMIC TALES. A general laments the impact of relationships on interstellar troop movements.
2/13 - "The Cat From Hell" by Stephen King from JUST AFTER SUNSET. A corker of a horror story about a dying man, a hitman & the titular cat. (* My favorite of the week.)
2/14 - "Angie" by Ed Gorman from FAVORITE KILLS. Crime story with an "Oh, gosh, please don't go there." climax.
2/15 - "Who Dealt?" from THE BEST SHORT STORIES OF RING LARDNER. Interesting monologue piece with an apparently clueless main character.
2/16 - "Sales Pitch" by Philip K. Dick from THE GOLDEN MAN. A satire of advertising and home conveniences gone mad.
2/17 - "This House Was Never a Castle" by Aaron Polson from issue 14 of Shimmer. A setting-drenched piece with children trying to make their way through a dangerous world.
2/18 - "The Dingus" by Gregory Frost from SUPERNATURAL NOIR. A good horror/mystery story about an ex-trainer trying to determine how a boxer he had once trained ended up dead. I'm really psyched about this Ellen Datlow-edited collection; very glad that my wife picked it up for me for my birthday!

And now, here are this week's writing-related links that I found interesting and worth sharing...

"Unrealistic Goals Can Burst Your Bubble" (Ann Cory) - Ann writes about the trap of setting your goals when you're on too much of a "high" and feeling like you can conquer the world. This was a timely read for me, as I've been thinking about my own writing "mood swings" recently.

"Forbes Among 30 Clients Using Computer-Generated Stories Instead of Writers" (Jason Boog at Galleycat) - This article is oriented towards non-fiction prose, but I thought it was both fascinating (in a "we really are living in the science fiction future" way) and a bit creepy. Granted, I can't imagine computers can do a ton of analysis in these articles, though it was noted that computers are being used to analyze sports box scores and highlight key plays from the game. (As a total baseball stat-nerd aside, I can imagine something like WPA -- Win Probability Added -- being a fantastic stat to feed in to computers for that sort of analysis.) Hopefully they won't figure out how to have computers write compelling fiction any time too soon...

"Good Critiquers Make Suggestions" (Adam Heine) - I thought this was an interesting post, because it talks about that space where -- beyond "just" providing opinions on what they felt worked or didn't work -- a critique partner may be able to provide a suggestion on what they think would work better than what didn't work. I think that this is fantastic but not for every critique partnership. In my opinion, there has to be a certain amount of trust already built up in the relationship. Just as importantly, it requires the critique partner providing the suggestion to have the same ability to be unemotional about their suggestion as is expected from the original writer about their original prose. There are definitely times this can work; there are a couple of people I happily exchange this level of critique with, but I think it's risky territory if there isn't already a good degree of comfort between the partners.

"How to Revise for Structure - Part Two" (Jami Gold) - I thought this was an interesting post about using spreadsheets to validate novels against theories of novel structure. There's a part of me that wants to rebel against this, honestly... Especially a couple of links below the "computers writing non-fiction" link.  ;)  That said, Jami, as she always does, presents the information well and has provided sample spreadsheets to download.

Additionally, here's a recap of the posts from this week on my blog:

"Pet Peeves: Continuity and Logic Errors" - Monday I talked about some of the subtle things that make me cringe/get frustrated when I'm reading fiction.

"Bumps in the Road and February Goal Progress" - Thursday I vented a bit about some frustrations I've felt recently and updated my progress towards my February goals.

Have a great writing week, everyone!


  1. Thanks for the links. I found the critiquers one interesting too.

  2. I'm stopping by from the Platform Campaign. Cheers.

  3. Thanks, Christine and Christopher, for stopping by!

  4. Hey there! New campaigner finally making the rounds. (And, I totally know you from Twitter!)

    I really like your idea of reading a short story every night. Now I'm going to have to pay attention to when you talk about it on twitter! :D

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Brenna! I'll be picking out tonight's story before long. :)