Monthly Archives: January 2014

Episode 43: Revision? F*** Revision

The boys enjoy a lively discussion of revision. First, you find the story. Then you polish the story. At some point, Jon argues, you have to abandon it, right? The debate leads down some strange corridors, including myriad 1980s Patrick Swayze and Whoopi Goldberg films, before the boys shift their attention to the wonderfully strange world of Marie Potoczny’s “Fat.”

Reading Discussed

Episode 42: New Year’s Resolutions

The boys ring in 2014 with their New Year’s resolutions, in a conversation spanning several topics they know nothing about: writing a novel in a week, writing on amphetamines, artists’ colonies, NEA grants, and the legal obligations of genetic testing services. Then it’s on to a discussion of Jacob M. Appel’s story “Enoch Arden’s One Night Stands,” which Jon bravely participates in despite not having read the story.

Reading Discussed

  • Jacob M. Appel’s story “Enoch Arden’s One Night Stands” is available at New Millenium Writings.
  • Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep is a sequel to The Shining.
  • Supposedly Stephen King wrote the entire novel The Running Man in a week. (Regardless of how you feel about that book, you best not disrespect the movie in front of Brian.)
  • Just because plenty of writers have used stimulants to court the muse doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.
  • You can find George Carlin’s thoughts on aging, and knowing what you don’t know, in his book Brain Droppings.
  • Donna Tartt has written three novels (The Secret History, The Little Friend, and The Goldfinch) over the course of thirty years.
  • Looking for some time away from it all to focus on your writing? Polish up your application to Yaddo, Ragdale, McDowell, Bread Loaf, VSC, VCCA, etc.
  • Our Purdue colleague Chris Arnold is in good company on this prestigious list.
  • You got served (notice of a promising new voice)!
  • Three important sources of pre-release reviews are Publisher’s Weekly, Kirkus, and Library Journal.
  • Jon has spent enough time back below the Mason-Dixon to begin resenting the federal government, particularly their shut-down of 23andMe’s health-related genetic testing. (You can read the FDA’s warning letter here.)
  • Ben’s 2014 resolution: learn to revise — have three existing stories ready to submit by the end of April.
  • Brian’s 2014 resolutions: get three brand new stories done by the end of the year, and do more reading that’s focused on improving his prose.
  • Jon’s 2014 resolutions: get a physical, have his genome analyzed for health risks (if the goddamn FDA will let him), do another revision of his next novel, start hunting for an agent, and finish the first full draft of his next-next novel (which could be a massive doorstop of a book, or a couple of separate books, or a complete failure altogether).
  • Back when the WITTScasters were on the editorial staff at Sycamore Review, Jacob M. Appel won the Wabash Prize for Fiction. (That time, Jon found time to read the story.)
  • Jacob Appel’s story was inspired by Tennyson’s narrative poem “Enoch Arden.”
  • There are links to several more online stories by Jacob Appel, plus information about his story collection and three novels, on his website.
  • Good news for manatees = bad news for Brian.