Not that I’m doing that this week. I’m imaging myself writing fiction but instead, I’m promoting the Brainerd Writers Alliance MN writers contest and the writers’ conference. We still need submissions and we still need registrations to make this thing go. So that’s how my time is used.

If you want to help me get back to writing fiction, then submit and register and get your friends and family to submit and register. Or forget about my needs and do it for yourself!

Open to Minnesota poets, and writers of creative nonfiction and fiction. Find details on the website.

Contest link:

Conference link:

“The first sentence can’t be written until the final sentence is written.” Joyce Carol Oates

We always start with the first sentence. Its brilliance draws the writer to the desk and to write. But it’s not likely that first sentence will keep its place in the book, or poem, or article. The first sentence, first words, is where we as writers begin, but that first sentence does not often suggest or answer enough questions in readers to propel them forward. Why? Because the writer does not yet know enough about the story to answer the critical question, it starts here because…

My first novel began with a horrific flashback to 1940.

Matthew Elias McInnis was a tall man, a strong man, from farming for three decades, since he was eight years old. He was a funny man and smart but a bad, bad man when he was drunk and this night he’d been drinking since dinner.

What I did not know, did not recognize, until well into the 5th draft is this: the story is not about Matthew Elias McInnis. The story is about his granddaughter’s struggle for emotional balance after terrible childhood abuse and neglect by her parents. Matthew Elias McInnis barely enters the story after three years of writing. But, it was his story that compelled me to write and in writing, I discovered Ellen McInnis and her story.

I still can’t quite get over the loss of so much of my beautiful writing. I’ve been so clever with my words, but, as I mentioned in the last post, that doesn’t matter. What matters is the reader if you want readers to read your words. So write fiction as it unfolds in you, knowing that the story will change and you, dear writers, will have to change with it.

Good writing today. M E Fuller





Lakes Area Writers Alliance is a writers group in Brainerd, Minnesota that offers support, encouragement, and critique to members and visitors to their monthly meetings.


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