The ‘Are You Seeing Me?’ Chapter No One Is Seeing

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Mind Blown

Mind Blown

Australian literary legend (and good friend), Nick Earls, recently blogged a section of his marvellous 2014 novel, Analogue Men, that was binned during editing. Whilst enjoying this tasty morsel trimmed from the published main meal, I thought: “Let’s cook up some leftovers, too!” In Are You Seeing Me?, I had one I’d prepared earlier.

Much earlier.

Pasted below is a long-removed, never-read, never-seen-apart-from-a-select-few section of AYSM. It wasn’t surrendered during the publisher’s edit or the final draft. It wasn’t canned as a condition of the book’s contract.

It was cut from the ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT!

And, although I liked the original very much, the cut wasn’t unkind. Quite the opposite.

It helped turn a homeless tale into a Random House resident and, ultimately, a Booktopia 2014 Book of the Year.

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15 In 15

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Influence

Tagged by fellow scribbler, Lisa Wardle, to do this exercise on Facebook, I thought I’d throw it on Myperbole instead: 15 in 15.

The instructions imply influences of all sorts, not necessarily literary.

The Rules:
Don’t take too long to think about it.
15 influences, authors and poets  included, who’ve influenced you and that will always stick with you.
List the first 15 you can recall in no more than 15 minutes.

Okay, here goes:

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The Real Writer – A Do’s and Don’ts Guide #6

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Dos And Donts

Real writers do recognize real criticism.

Emerging authors: Someone saying your story is great rather than garbage is more preferable, yes?

For about ten minutes, it is.  After that, you’re pretty much left with the same lingering question: “How come?”

Truly worthy criticism doesn’t leave that poser unanswered: in an ideal writing world, an author’s ear would only ever be attuned to constructive feedback; the hater guff and airhead fluff would be as comprehensible as Charlie Brown’s teacher.  Alas, this is not Utopia – attempts to kick a literary goal often get foiled by a swift-handed Lucy – so it falls on the writer to identify useful opinions of his/her work.  Easier said than done when it’s your heart and soul laid bare on the page.

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The Real Writer – A Do’s and Don’ts Guide #5

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We’ve finished the four Don’ts – time now to have a look at the corresponding Do’s.  First up:

Real writers do the trade every day.

Any number of author voices more resonant than mine have extolled the virtues of turning up.  Stephen King advocated “bum glue”.  Jane Yolen referred to “exercising the writing muscle”.  Lawrence Kasdan suggested “being a writer is like having homework every night for the rest of your life”.  No doubt engaging with your story on a daily basis is a must.  But what’s the deal for emerging authors: the folks who are chasing creativity behind jobs and kids and mortgages and slush piles and rejection slips,  whose days are invariably full while their pages are often empty?

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The Real Writer – A Do’s and Don’ts Guide #4

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Real writers don’t leave work unfinished.

During my emerging author days, a noted publishing industry insider told me: “You’d be amazed at the number of writers you get ahead of just by finishing.”  Another informed me:  “There is only one truism in publishing – if you never finish the story, you’ll never see the book.”  Finishing is important, just as important as starting.  And many argue it’s a lot tougher than its ‘creative honeymoon’ counterpart.   

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The Real Writer – A Do’s and Don’ts Guide #3

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Real writers don’t make excuses.

People have told me I have a lot of ‘life’ excuses to not write.  I have a beautiful wife.  I have two wondrous kids, one of whom has autism.  I enjoy time with friends and family.  I work.  I have a mortgage.  I am the ultimate armchair sports fan.  I never turn down a beer.  I have an unhealthy fondness for karaoke.

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The Real Writer – A Do’s and Don’ts Guide #2

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Real writers don’t wait for the muse.

Waiting for inspiration doesn’t make you deep or interesting or cool.  And it doesn’t make you a writer.

It makes you a waiter.

And if you’re a waiter, you’re serving someone else or no one at all.  You’re certainly not serving yourself.

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