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Showing posts from 2009

FanFic: Write an Episode for Your Favorite TV Show

By Chris Stewart When I was an early teen, a girlfriend and I used to write episodes for our favorite TV show, Battlestar Galactica . The original , not the imposter (you can see what side I'm on you BG fans). You remember: Richard Hatch, Dirk Benedict, Lorne Greene. We loved it. And we wrote 200 page 'scripts' for the show (more TV movies than TV shows) for about a year. They probably weighed more on the side of romance than science fiction (I had a crush on Benedict; she had a crush on Hatch), but they were great practice at character development and sustaining a storyline. I haven't done this in years, but have come across others doing it, which has been a nice surprise. Not many people know this, but I'm a mad Doctor Who fan from way back. I watched the show (now 'Classic Who') on PBS television for over 20 years, then switched to Netflix and YouTube when MPT pulled the show and the new series started (don't get me started on that). I'm

What Makes a Good Memoir?

By Paula Margulies As a publicist, I'm sent books of all genres by authors interested in my services, but lately I seem to be on the receiving end of a lot of memoirs. I've also spoken to a higher-than-usual number of memoir writers, who either telephone or approach me with questions at writer's conferences. The bulk of these conversations have to do with why their memoirs aren’t selling and what the authors can do to make them better. My first suggestion for all memoir writers is to take a look at their market and identify the different types of people who would want to read their book. This is tricky, for while many memoir writers have done a good job of detailing certain aspects of their personal history, a number of them have not thought about who might be interested in reading what they've written. A lot of memoirs I've seen recently are nothing more than personal recountings of an individual’s experiences – some of which are, indeed, memorable. But I

Building a Writing Life/Community After Your MFA

By Chris Stewart I was recently asked to speak about this topic at the reunion of nonfiction MFAs at Goucher College in Baltimore and thought this information would be great to share here at The Writer's Edge, as well. Once you recover from graduating from a MFA program and discover that you need to make your peace with the void it leaves, and that you are now your own keeper/disciplinarian, the big question hits you: What do I do now? My philosophy on this has TWO POINTS: 1) Try everything you can handle in terms of your time and energy. Just give it a go, even if you're not sure it's for you (as long as it's not a big financial commitment like an expensive class or conference. You should really want to participate in those before plunking down the credit card). You'll stir things up. You'll meet people. You'll discover important strengths, weaknesses, passions. Other things will start to show up for you. 2) Based on what shows up - do what's i