Response to Joyce Carol Oates Writing Advice

Joyce Carol Oates tweeted writing advice on twitter in the middle of July:

Yes, this, please.

This is probably true, but I suspect I have difficulty with it. Something to work on.

Stephen King says to have an ideal reader, but I’ll admit I never picture one. Or have one, either. (Picturing an ideal reader would no doubt be easier if I actually had one.) But I interpret this to mean: write for yourself. That is, write with yourself as the ideal reader.

Yes, this, please.

Yes, this, please. Especially when writing for the web. (I believe experimental writing can be done while experimenting with things other than form. These other forms of experimental will likely have paragraphs.) I have a deep love of paragraphs, I do, yes, as a reader and write.

I feel like this is saying: if you are baffled, end on a cliffhanger. I don’t agree with that. If you decide to end on a cliffhanger, it’s ought to be because you planned it that way. Not because you can’t figure out to end the chapter.

Also, I feel that this is the thriller way to plot a story.  It works for me, because if my WiP didn’t have magic and werewolves and such, it could maybe fit into the mystery/thriller category.

This . . . I think I am confused by this. The work shouldn’t have too much sincerity? Too much truth? Why not?

Well, it’s the contemporaries that will read any piece, so it’s hard to argue. You can’t write for the future (future trends, future fashions, and stuff like that).

Yes, this, please. Mostly because I am not a linear writer and even when I write the first scene first, I usually only manage to figure out what the first scene ought to be after I finish the whole thing.

Yes, this, please.


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