Writing Tips at GarySpeer.com

Tips for writers and musing about writing and life

Are you a novelist or ‘sentencist’ — inspiration from our newspaper’s comics page


I read the local paper’s comics page faithfully every morning. I’ve learned much of what I know about life from such real-life philosophers as Charlie Brown and, lately, Agnes.

For those of you who don’t know her, “Agnes” is an odd little girls who sort of swashbuckles through life with her friend (I don’t even remember the friend’s name?) and her somewhat bizarre imagination. In the latest storyline, Agnes has decided to write a novel. Actually, Agnes isn’t writing just a novel, she’s writing the greatest novel in the English language. She does nothing in less than grandiose fashion — hence my use of “swashbuckle” as a verb.

In today’s installment, Agnes hits the wall, so to speak: She realizes the biggest problem with being a novelist. “Way too many words in a novel … people expect you to know how to spell ’em and know what they all mean and stuff. Life is too short for that kind of drudgery.” In the last panel of the strip, Agnes decides she maybe will be a “sentencist” instead of a novelist.

Are you a novelist or a sentencist? Do you enjoy “long form” or “short form” writing the most? What successes have you had with either? Personally, I’ve always wanted to be a novelist, but probably live most of my life in the sentencist neighborhood. I have three or four chapters written on a couple of novels, neither very exciting or likely to be sellable, so I haven’t done much with them in a long time. On the other hand, blogging fits me well. I can write around 2,500-3,000 words a day blogging. I suppose the shortness of individual posts encourages me, while the whole concept of a novel sort of intimidates me.

How about you? Tell us about your writing hopes, successes, not-so-successful efforts, or whatever.
[tags]writing and life, comics page inspiration, novels, short writing, writing tips at garyspeer.com[/tags]