Thursday, March 02, 2006

C.L. Russo Chat

Thanks, to all who attended chat tonight!

To those who missed it: You missed a good one.

Our guest was C.L. Russo, one of the successful Short Story Fiction writers we hear about, but never seem to be able to actually touch.

Highlights: (hint: to enlarge font size on this page, hold down ctrl & use scroll button on your mouse)

Diana: When did you start writing with the want to be published? How long have you been writing?

clrusso: I've been writing for about two years. I started with the intention of being published. I'm a firm believer of publishing as the only legit affirmation of a writer's work.

Diana: publishing on any level?

clrusso: Well, I'll probably sound like a snob, but I believe getting paid (even nominally) is best. I mean, are there any famous writers who don't get paid? Not saying that there aren't good writers who don't get paid, but they are people who, if they're really good, simply need the courage to raise their sights.

Renee-mod: I understand you tend to write in "spurts". (on again) How are you able to hold such a high level of publishing success? What is your secret?

clrusso: Well, I actually spent the last year and I half writing every day. As well as doing crits, reading about writing, thinking about writing, eating, sleeping, talking about writing. I sort of burned out in September. The idea tank went completely, utterly empty. And I got a bit frustrated (and obsessed) with waiting for responses. So, I'm on a bit of a hiatus. Recently though, I've had some interesting guests in my head. And I'm sending out finished stories again.

Renee-mod: You are a self professed, "degenerate poker player". How does the "gambler" in you influence your writing?

clrusso: Every time you submit something, you're taking a risk. A good poker player knows when to make a move that is risky, but the reward is worth it. I try to send stories to markets that are a good fit. I've even written stories specifically for certain market (my story for Red Scream)

RyanL.: Would you say going back to the start when you're halfway through is a bad idea? Have you ever wanted to take something completely apart before finishing because it wasn't making sense?

clrusso: Yes,all the time! I probably stop half way through on a third of my story ideas. Sometimes I come back to them, but usually if I stop, it's because I know it's dead. I'm generally afraid of tearing a story completely apart. Only because, to me, once I replace it, the new stuff seems to have squatters rights and I can never return to the old stuff If I want. As far as it being a bad idea. I think it depends on he situation. Sometimes, if you're stuck, you need to burn it to the ground and start over. Other times, If you can see your way to an ending, I'd do that and make changes in the revisions. One piece of advice: once you do the first draft, put it away for at least a couple weeks and write something else. I need distance before looking at a story critically.

During the chat, Chris's blog link wasn't working. (Thanks Mandy and Scott, for pointing that out) Seems we had the link wrong. Check it out at:

Thanks for a great chat!

Keep writing!



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