Square one

An open letter to the workers of the the Upstate Fiction Factory:

We write, right? In these days of wine and roses yet to bud and yet to mature, we are tested daily. So off to the test track I go and in these testing times, I test. As I test, I am tested. Not found wanting for anything except chocolate, I define my right to write as being right, all right. But seriously (as if ever), UFF is about becoming a writer. This group is a catalyst and motivator for those who write or would like to write or would like to write more. Our habitat is the Upstate: that north-eastern outcrop of South Carolina that, if the state were a slice of pizza, would be the place that drooped and the pepperoni fell off.

What is the purpose of the fiction factory? Ah, funny that you should ask.  By a quirk of writing first and then not editing, I have already told you our location and goal.  My personal blog entries here are probably going to look at the form of stories–what shape are they, why, and why not.  There are all sorts of formatting tools on this blog but it is too much like a meal in a fancy restaurant for my liking;  They lay out two or three sets of cutlery and three glasses around  your plate.  I choose the tools that work and ignore the rest.  That should serve as a warning to not expect fancy bits of bold, italic, colored, indented, or quoted text in my blog posts.

Since UFF is a tool to promote the writing of fiction (narrative, poetry, plays, and those interstitial things that have no name as yet) in our third of SC, I plan to limit my blog topics to writing methods, creativity, publishing, and things that are, well, about writing I suppose would be the best description. That means no commentary on the views or subject matter in the work of any writers in UFF, and no off topic blathering — though I may give some leeway  on matters that peripherally relate to writing, such as choice of munchies to be brought to the UFF meetings. I may agree or disagree with what you are saying, but I support and encourage you in your efforts to become a better writer because that is what I am asking you to do for me.

For your inspiration to write today, here’s what I was forced to get up early and type before it wandered out of my brain: a section of dialogue in which one person replies, “Mmhm.” to every question and comment from the other person. If there is a better way to spell that noise that means, “I agree, please continue.” please share it.


About Ian Whatley

Ian Whatley -- British born, bred, educated, and then deported. His fiction has been published in The Legendary, Lost and Found Times, 3S and so on and so on and...

Posted on April 13, 2010, in Ian W and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. It’s a pity you won’t go off topic, or lather – as you say. Some of the finest pomo wandered off the page and was forever lost. And some of UFF’s roundsquarerectangletables have been edified by the WhatBurns debates. So, tragedy up some of your Oh to Joyce and splice it into the peace. I’m always up for second helpings.

  2. Okay – a week on and this blog is already into free association mode. I got the ball rolling but, a la bowling alley, I let go of the ball on the back swing. I’m currently floating through Ulysses, having ‘done’ Dubliners last week. Every so often I’m having to stop and jot a ticklish notion on a post-it. I decided this ante meridian that I needed to transcribe some of these mounting up notes commas be damned and set to with qwerty and valiant mouse. Note one was maybe seven or eight words long. I typed it into a document and thought ah-ha, as one does, the commas are back, and out spilled about a thousand more words. Oh, is that the time, and off out goes I to mulch.
    So, vow breaking axe swinger of the broad sash and crossed keyboards that I am, I may yet go off the beaten path and put some half finished thought provokers on this ‘ere blog. I think it is another fine tool to keep up motivation and produce sparks of inspiration. Though breathing in sparks is not a good idea. The negative is that it may become an alternative to actually writing stories.

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