Answer: A delightful entry in February’s upcoming newsletter, out tomorrow, in which Lydia Netzer, author of Shine, Shine, Shine, a NYT Notable Book, answers WU contributor Sarah Callender‘s questions.
Here’s a sample of their dynamic in this month’s Writer Inboxed:
Sarah: Many believe that writing anything after the debut will be a relative piece of cake. Is this true for your current project, or is it simply a “different” cake? Or is this project, instead, something utterly non-cakey?
Lydia: It’s non-cakey.
Here’s an example. So I was trying to write this one scene, and it wasn’t working. And I realized that the problem was not my approach but that the scene itself was just bad. I realized this as I was on the phone with Joshilyn [Jackson], pouting and whining about how hard it all is, and I said, “You know, it’s like I’m trying to make mashed potatoes out of sand, so even if I do the best job possible, and perfectly transform the sand and get it just like potatoes, the very best I can hope for is still only mashed potatoes.”
Except that didn’t work, because mashed potatoes can actually be sort of transcendent and wonderful. So we decided it was like trying to make prunes out of poop. A perfect success will still only render prunes. And prunes are kind of not what I’m looking for in a follow-up novel. Especially ones secretly made out of something more sinister. So yeah, I cut the scene. And cake wasn’t even part of the picture.
Also in the upcoming edition of the Writer Inboxed:
- Randy Susan Meyers, beloved Grub Street teacher, author of The Murderer’s Daughters and the forthcoming The Comfort of Lies, talks about life-altering fiction.
- Independent editor Victoria Mixon mixes up her column by gently interrogating Writer’s Digest editor, Chuck Sambuchino. The topic? What agents want.
- Vaughn Roycroft, lead moderator of WU’s Facebook community page, curates and promotes the best blogging content available from the Writer Unboxed community. That would be you folks, if you are a member of the Facebook group and nominate content for Vaughn’s monthly thread. (Typically occurs in the third week of the month.)
- Agent-guru Donald Maass provides more of his famed pointers on craft.
- WU mamas, Kathleen Bolton and Therese Walsh, provide a practical writing tip.
- Erika Liodice condenses and serves the latest news in digital publishing.
- Community member Colleen Turner reviews an atypical book for our Reader Unboxed column.
- An anonymous insider provides input on how the publishing landscape really works, and how savvy writers can navigate it.
In addition, the Writer Inboxed is within striking distance of its two-thousandth subscriber. To celebrate, the person who helps us hit that milestone will receive a free Writer Unboxed t-shirt or coffee mug. Winner’s choice.
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