The Battle of Two Annes, or Real Life in Memoir and Fiction

The Card Players (Les Joueurs de cartes)

Do “you own everything that happened to you”? What if you were not nice to them without realizing it? Is there such a thing as an objective memoir?

Is it okay if your “fiction is taken from real life”? Do writers have a right to appropriate somebody else’s life stories? Do writers “own everything that happened to other people”?

What do you think? Feel free to share your views in the comments.

Image credit: Paul Cézanne. The Card Players (Les Joueurs de cartes), 1890–1892. Oil on canvas, Overall: 53 1/4 x 71 5/8 in. (135.3 x 181.9 cm). BF564. Public Domain.

 

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On Marketing, Short Fiction Awards, & Roundelay

Jane Friedman on marketing for authors, “You’ll be stronger if you have a multi-faceted approach.” Find out what she means.

University of Iowa Press is giving two awards for first collections of short fiction. No entry fee. Deadline: September 30. Check the guidelines, and submit.

A new poetic form challenge from Writer’s Digest. Join the roundelay fun.

Here’s my contribution:

“A Simple Song”

The shore is kind, horizon — wide
A tender breeze so gently blows
Come, take your vessel for a ride
Those swift white caps are not your foes
Our happiness — an ocean tide
That comes and goes, that comes and goes…

Come, take your vessel for a ride
Those swift white caps are not your foes
You would not hold time if you tried
Gold specks of sand between your toes
Our happiness — an ocean tide
That comes and goes, that comes and goes…

You would not hold time if you tried
Gold specks of sand between your toes
Come, sail while dazzling seas abide
The day, the hour — nobody knows
Our happiness — an ocean tide
That comes and goes, that comes and goes…

Come, sail while dazzling seas abide
The day, the hour — nobody knows
Fragile sandcastles builds a child
The setting sun so softly glows
Our happiness — an ocean tide
That comes and goes, that comes and goes…

© 2017 Sasha A. Palmer (aka Happy)

“The more you treat it as just another thing…”

On writing good sex scenes:

“Sex scenes are not about getting aroused. They are about showing how a particular character goes about having sex, what it means, and what happens next.

They might be arousing, but what I really want the reader to do is keep reading, so the scenes have to be narratively interesting and meaningful, as idiosyncratic as any other scene. That means that you have to think about and investigate sex and relationships as frankly and intently as you would anything else that you are writing about (say, changes in the banking rules).

The more you treat it as just another thing, just another interesting thing, the better your sex scenes will be.”

Jane Smiley