Celebrating East African Writing!
Tracy Kidder and Richard Todd who are both writers and editors of different forms of writing, gave these insights into writing which you might find useful:
1. To write is to talk to strangers. You have to inspire confidence, to seem and to be trustworthy.
2. It is always prudent to remember that one is not Tolstoy or Dickens.
3. Don’t concentrate on technique, which can be the same as concentrating on yourself. Give yourself to your story.
4. The reader wants to see you not trying to impress, but trying to get somewhere.
5. For a story to have a chance to live, it is essential only that there be something at stake. A car chase is not required.
6. Try to attune yourself to the sound of your own writing. If you can’t imagine yourself saying something aloud, then you probably shouldn’t write it.
7. The creation of a style often begins with a negative achievement. Only by rejecting what comes too easily can you clear a space for yourself.
8. Use words wantonly and you disappear before your own eyes. Use them well and you create yourself.
9. The best work is done when one’s eye is simply on the work, not on its consequence, or on oneself. It is something done for its own sake. It is, in Lewis Hyde’s term, a gift.
10. Be willing to surprise yourself.
Well, that said, here is this month’s Editor’s Choice, and the author happens to be a repeat winner. Do you agree with the choice? Please read and comment on the stories featured.
Editor’s Choice: Friendly Fire by Sharon Ogugu – My liking for white people has always dangled between indifference and tolerance. Then my adopted sister went ahead and got married to one and I realized how ordinary they actually are. As would be expected, we met his family and he met ours. That right there marked the start of my troubles.
Have a look at the other stories we thought were worth a mention.
Loving an Empty Space: When he told you that he did not believe in anything you told him that he could believe in you. You mistook this cruelty for kindness and went on to build a foundation for what you thought was love. And even if it was the latter, what can such an irrelevant sensation as kindness mean to a man who has lost faith in existence?
Matilda Dimples: Wamae was many things, a jack of all trades but master of none. A village elder, husband, father, grandfather, bench warmer at the local Muratina [local brew] den, dairy farmer and unbeknownst to others, he aspired to be a night runner.
We hope you enjoy reading these stories and that YOU will participate in our next call out!
Please remember to vote for the Storymoja Writers’ Blog under the Best Corporate Blog at the Blog Awards.
The Storymoja Festival: Careerpedia Edition will be on May 28 to 30 at the KNLS Nakuru Branch. This is our first regional stopover and we are very excited about it! Please check out storymojafestival.com for updates on featured guests and events lineup.