Don Britt Shares

(I had to repost this. Not cool blogger. But life's like that. If you commented, I will repost your comments if you don't.)

Recently, Don came by for a visit. See HERE for his story and interview. He was moved by all the encouraging comments you great writers left, and so I posted his reply here because, well, it's my blog to have my way with as I please.

I do have to say, Don's interview generated the most page views I've had so far in one day!!!

Hi Tanya! Hi all!

Thanks to everyone for taking an interest in my 'act of insanity'. It's a great challenge to build any kind of platform as a writer these days, as Tanya and I have discussed. I'm impressed with Tanya's answer to that problem. 'Life's Like That' is an erudite and witty blog, very well written. The over the top option I've taken in hopes of finally garnering some attention is a kind of double edged sword.

First, it has managed to get people looking my way. In a way far more than I had hoped. I've gotten some national media attention and I've written an entry on stage at West Ed. The managing editor of the 3-Day Novel contest told me that no winner of the contest has ever drawn the kind of attention I have. That certainly appeals to the closet megalomaniac in me.

At the same time a simple truth remains. If you manage to get some attention using an over the top gimmick, then almost everyone will just want to talk about the over the top gimmick. Tanya is in the very gracious minority of people who have dropped by my site - she's actually read some of my stuff! That means a lot. But in terms of my ultimate goal of getting noticed by a publisher, it's not at all clear how this kind of marathon can help.

In response to Margo's question (Hi Margo!) I've had very little success with stories that I've planned out in advance. I'm a swooper, a guy who always flies by the seat of his pants. What I'm forever looking for is a character and a circumstance, a compelling starting point. And I just let it rip from there. For more on this, and why 'pre-planning' just doesn't work for me, you might like to check out my blog entry 'On Feeling Real':

Thanks again to everyone. Your comments (and even critiques!) are always welcome.


I didn't only read his work, I recommend that others do. I can fly through one in a couple lunch hours-- they're such an easy read.

If flying by the seat of your pants works, stick with it. Your writting speaks for itself. First drafts are too much fun and I hope if nothing else you enjoy your journey!!

Don't forget, Don's next live-writing is on Friday, May 13th.


Vicki Tremper said...

Don is a class act! And Tanya, you are such a supportive writing friend. You read everything and share everything. I wish I could do more of that, but I have trouble managing all the different pieces of my life as it is. Maybe that will be next year's resolution!

Tanya Reimer said...

Richard's comment was eaten by a hungry blogger.

"It may be a gimmick to get noticed, but still there's probably a great deal of writing of future works that can come from it. "- Richard Hughes

Tanya Reimer said...

Exactly, Richard. I couldn't agree more!! Plus, if it's fun, really, what does it hurt?

Thanks Vickie. Nice to know I can keep up the illusion of being organized! hehe. Truth is, I enjoy reading what my friends write, not because they're my friends, but because they're very good at what they do. Yeah, that includes you, gal!

E.C. Smith said...

It such a cool gimmick, though, isn't it? Hard work, for sure, and I admire Don for trying it.

Margo Berendsen said...

I like how he calls himself a "swooper" - but I think it takes real talent to pull together a story to conclusion without pre-planning. Amazing!

Don Britt said...

I think it was Kurt Vonnegut who categorized writers into one of two groups - the basher, the careful pre-planner, and the swooper, who just wings that mother. I appreciate what you say about talent Margo, and the last thing I want to be is argumentative with someone who is being so gracious. But I really see myself as a plodder. I've gotten as far as I have as a writer (however far that is) by writing millions of words, most of them bad! (Oh the words might have been okay. But the way I used them. Oi.) For years and years I just filled pages. Eventually, by osmosis if nothing else, I picked up some things that have proven useful.

Isn't it interesting how few writing prodigies there are? Yes, they exist. But when compared to music, art and even acting, they are incredibly rare in our field. I think our craft rewards the diligent plodder more than any other art form. I truly believe that the person who shows up on the page, day in day out, to ply their trade like a blue collar worker punching a clock, will be rewarded in time. I find that an encouraging thought.

Tanya Reimer said...

Don, that is encouraging. Reminds me WHY I actually come out every day and steal time from sleep, TV, video games, and all the other things I enjoy doing just as much. It takes time to mature our writing. Even after we do, it takes time to mature ourselves.

Nice to see you survived another fix. Ps- I`m a swooper too. I don`t turn into a basher until round three. It`s an odd way to work, but if swooping don`t produce something worth bashing, I won`t waste my time. I have a billion other ideas to snag.

Don Britt said...

Oh that's how I work too. The last real novel I wrote saw me swoop to a finished first draft in three months, and then spend a year or so revising. It's a horror novel called CAMBRIAN. And in a truly shameless plug I'm happy to announce that it will be available in the next few days as an e-book on Kobo. So if anyone is interested in seeing what I can produce when my 3-Day timer isn't ticking they are warmly invited to check it out.

Thanks Tanya! Happy swoopbashing!!


Tanya Reimer said...

oh awesome Don!! Fire me the link when you get it set up. I'm in. Haven't read a horror since last summer. Could use a fix.