Thursday, July 31, 2014

GUEST POST: Shannon Phillips Author of "The Fairy Midwife" & Contributing Author to the Anthology FAE

Some stories come fast, some go slow. The romantic conception of an author definitely focuses on the fast

It does happen like this sometimes, but mostly at the beginning. In any long project, that first feverish burst of inspiration is going to fade. Every writer has a different process, but I think most of us wrestle with periods when the words don't flow--when we have to hammer them in place, one by one. Those are the less romantic scenes. The author is not working by candlelight, but probably bathed in the
unhealthy glow of a computer screen--and she is not scribbling madly, but pausing and backtracking and deleting and rewriting and making painful faces as she goes.

This is why I love short stories, as a writer. It's possible to write the whole thing in that state of "flow," where the next word or idea is right there as you reach for it, and it almost feels like the story is writing itself. Not all of them come out so smoothly, but "The Fairy Midwife" was one that did, for me. I wrote it in two sessions, and it required almost no revision. As soon as I had Tara's voice clear in my mind (and it was clear, from the first sentence) everything else followed very easily.

As a reader, I love short stories because they can take you to so many different places. Whole worlds, beautiful and detailed and complete, delivered in the space of a few pages. I got my contributor's copy of Fae last night and so far I've been enchanted with all the stories in it. There's no telling which were fast or slow to write: they all brim with inspiration, and I'll never know how hard their authors worked to
hammer those ideas into shape.

Do you write? And if so, how often do you achieve that state of "flow"? And how do you motivate yourself to keep writing during the difficult passages?
kind of writing: the author is in a garret somewhere (a garret is an attic, right? I'm not entirely sure, I just know that writers are supposed to be in one), preferably working by candlelight, scribbling madly on loose sheets of paper, just trying to get the words down before they fly away.

"FAE" edited by Rhonda Parrish

Meet Robin Goodfellow as you’ve never seen him before, watch damsels in distress rescue themselves, get swept away with the selkies and enjoy tales of hobs, green men, pixies and phookas. One thing is for certain, these are not your grandmother’s fairy tales. Fairies have been both mischievous and malignant creatures throughout history. They’ve dwelt in forests, collected teeth or crafted shoes. Fae is full of stories that honor that rich history while exploring new and interesting takes on the fair folk from castles to computer technologies and modern midwifing, the Old World to Indianapolis. Fae covers a vast swath of the fairy story spectrum, making the old new and exploring lush settings with beautiful prose and complex characters. Enjoy the familiar feeling of a good old-fashioned fairy tale alongside urban fantasy and horror with a fae twist.

Purchase at Amazon

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