I wrote a post for Red Sofa Literary about how I came to be a writer.
By M.K. Anderson My good friend and agent asked me to do this post: “How did you choose writing or how did it choose you?” Simple.
I found myself using the time I set aside to write instead Photoshopping the face of Gritty, the new Philadelphia Fliers mascot, onto Karl Marx. […]
November is nearly upon us, which means it’s about time for National Novel Writing Month! I participated last year, and while I didn’t “win” by writing a full 50,000 words, I did end up getting an agent from the book I started. Not a bad consolation prize.
So: I’m participating again this year.
Go peek at my writing sample here (login required) and be my writing buddy! And check below the “read more” to peek at the cover mockup I did for fun! 😊
Well, folks, it finally happened: My account (some_qualia) got suspended from Twitter for being mean to a racist. Edit, update: You can find me @mk_author! But the destruction of my author platform and its impact on me as an author is an ongoing problem, so this post will stay up.
I’ve met genuine friends on Twitter who I have no way of contacting now. I’ll miss them. On a more practical note, Twitter was my author platform. It was the way I made connections with other writers. It’s been vital to even getting this far, and it’s gone. I’m appealing the suspension, but my chances of success are slim.
In the meantime, I would really appreciate it if you’d let people know where to find me! I’m posting on Mastodon @email@example.com. You can sign up for my newsletter here. Whenever I publish something, am a guest somewhere, or have a piece of very good writing news, I’ll keep you updated.
My agent (@erikhane on Twitter) is a very fun comrade and worth a follow. He will surely post any major writing news of mine (like deals, publication dates etc.). You can email me through my website here.
Despite this setback, good things are happening! My agent and I are gearing up to pitch my novel to publishers before the end of November. I have two short stories we’re sending around soon. I’m applying to the Michener Center here in Austin. You will hear from me, and it will be good news.
Be seeing you.
— M. K.
I’d like to write another book soon. For the first time in a couple of years, I’m not sure what’ll come next.
Let me back up. I am still coming to terms with being a literary writer. Continue reading
My husband Jacob loves birds. I make a token donation to the American Bird Conservatory each year so he will get a full-color magazine monthly. When we lived in our 200-square-foot studio apartment two years prior, he’d cut his favorite photos out and tape them on the ceiling above the loft bed. This is where he spent 18 hours a day when he first got ill.
I have a new short memoir piece out from Alternating Current Press’s The Coil: ‘Little White.’ It’s about disability, keeping birds, and life. Check it out!
Additional news: I’m now represented by Erik Hane of Red Sofa Literary! I’m very fortunate, both to be agented and to have him as my agent. We’re working on edits for my novel, tentatively titled Real Person Fiction. Watch this space.
There are people who spent 16 years in school, an additional two years in an MFA, and three thousand hours reading slush for a literary journal who will tell you with a straight face nobody taught them to write.
I was taught. I write better than I did in second grade, and a teacher or thirty probably has something to do with that. In tenth grade, Mr. Wheeler singled me out as the one student in the class who he wouldn’t abide shitty writing from. He returned my creative writing assignments so covered in red marks the page looked bloody. I learned. Two years ago I didn’t have a firm grasp of the comma.
So: why are writers so full of shit on this?
When I first started writing, I wrote a very earnest letter to my cousin who writes. I said, “I think I have a second draft, but I’m not sure.” She replied, “If you think you do, you probably do.”
This is how I learned fiction writers are liars.
So, after reading many many many craft books, adopting what works for me and pitching the rest, I have the following checklist. Caveats: I wrote this for me, and so some of it may be cryptic and a lot of it is aimed at my own weaknesses.
One thing you may notice: I start from broad (the overall story) and go down to the small (paragraph). Nobody told me you should edit in this order, and it felt counter-intuitive because most feedback you get when you first start is very fine detail. I am telling you this now: edit yourself in this order.
It is October 1st, and Nightscript Volume III is out! Nightscript is a yearly literary anthology of strange and darksome tales edited by C. M. Muller. You can find my short story, “Grizzly,” inside.
Nightscript is really special to me. It is the first place to pay me for a piece of writing. It is the first time I’ll be able to hold in my own hands a book I helped write. I am humbled. I hope you’ll share this experience with me. Here’s a little taste:
If you do pick it up, let me know. Write a review on Amazon or Goodreads. Leave a comment below. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Coming up with story concepts isn’t difficult for me. It’s not hard to sit down and rattle off 15 concepts really quick, just a sentence. A concept will usually suggest a genre to me. Genres have conventions and obligatory scenes, so the bones of the story are there in less than ten seconds, easily.
Here’s where it gets hard: I’ve read so many stories I know exactly how that story is supposed to go. So does everyone else. So why write it?
For me, the answer is anger. Something about how I’m supposed to write that story not only doesn’t match my lived experience, it is such unbelievable bullshit that I’m willing to hammer out a 90,000-word subtweet.
Right now, I’m mad at the protagonist. Protagonists are bullshit.