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Writing Wednesdays

Writing Wednesdays

Files I Work With, #5

By Steven Pressfield | Published: June 17, 2015

I did some posts a few weeks ago about the five files I keep on my screen while I’m writing. I posted four but somehow spaced out doing the fifth. My apologies (and thanks to Peter Brockwell for reminding me). Here it is now:

Dante and Virgil approaching the entrance to Hell (engraving by Gustave Dore)

I call this fifth file CULLS.

Have you ever seen an inspection station for tomatoes or potatoes? A conveyor belt shuttles the fresh-from-the-field produce past a line of human checkers (usually farm kids being paid eight bucks an hour.) The good taters and peaches sail past and get boxed up for market. The bad ones get plucked out and sent to agricultural hell.

Those are the culls.

My CULLS file contains everything I’ve cut from the manuscript I’m working on. I don’t delete anything permanently. I just stash it in literary purgatory.

Here’s why I like having a CULLS file:


Posted in Writing Wednesdays

What It Takes

What It Takes

The Editorial Macro and Micro

By Shawn Coyne | Published: June 12, 2015

[Join to read more of Shawn’s Stuff]

You’ve heard this story before.

A group of concerned citizens from a small town in Eastern India travel far and wide to meet with Siddhartha Gautama, the supreme Capo di tutti capi Buddha of them all.

The Buddha graciously grants them an audience.

The spokesman for the group explains to the Buddha that in their town there is great dissension among the most learned among them about the nature of the soul.  They are wondering if he could enlighten them so as to settle the dispute.


Posted in What It Takes

Writing Wednesdays

Writing Wednesdays

Truth, Truth, Truth, Fiction

By Steven Pressfield | Published: June 10, 2015

Almost any story, if it’s gonna have real power in the climax, needs a blockbuster bang or invention—something that nobody’s seen before or, if they have seen it, something they’ve never seen done in this unique way. Often this bang is contrived and pushes the bounds of believability. Can a sperm whale really ram and sink a whaling ship? Can Vin Diesel really leap a car out of one skyscraper, soar across 100 feet of empty space, and land safely inside another skyscraper? (And, by the way, is his name really Vin Diesel?)

We want to believe, Vin!


Posted in Writing Wednesdays
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