Terrytown's Library

Terrytown's Library
Raised in Terrytown, Louisiana

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Reading Oates and Writing and rewriting My Stories

I've been reading and enjoying Joyce Carol Oates' short stories. Her stories are so diverse. The short story that has stayed with me is Heat. I like the way she continued to mention heat in her story. I like that she didn't tell the story straightforward. The narrator was a child who didn't know exactly what happened, but she imagined what happened to the twins, the subject of the short story. I always feel a connection with the characters in her short stories. Even with the husband in Panic. The husband felt jealous when his wife jumped into the backseat to shield their baby from possible gunfire from two boys on a bus waving a gun. I had to read it two times because it was hard to have sympathy for this guy. I'm glad I finished reading Panic. 

When I read Joyce Carol Oates I wonder how I can write stories that cause me to think about them long after I've finished reading them. My goal is always to be a better fiction writer. I am so glad that I have finally been able to write. I am in the process of rewriting my thesis and writing new stories for my thesis. There might be some stories that just won't be included in the completed form, but we'll see. I am excited about this idea for a novel that I have that I can't wait to start writing.

On my Facebook Writing Community Page I came up with the prompt; job search and or where we are right now in life. Job searching in the city. I think a good prompt is one that challenges you into coming up with new stories, new thoughts. Writing prompts allow you to get out of your own head and try new things in your writing. I have been told you should write stories about your life, but I believe that it's okay to stretch yourself to new lands. Research is a way of knowing.

Joyce Carol Oates is one of my writing heroes, especially in short stories. When I read a short story, I want to write my stories. I think, how can I write a story that's good, that can one day be published. And then I think how can I keep getting published once it happens. My only answer is to write as much as possible. Write everyday. Do writing practice. Write short story drafts. Writing chapter drafts. Write, read, write, read, write, read. That's the only way to get better, to go beyond what you thought your talents were. And get people to write and comment on your writing. I haven't done that in a while but I will, soon. It's all about finding trusted readers and doing the same for them.