Fiction Page–Work by Robert J Ray and Jack Remick

   Intro We both write at Louisa’s Bakery and Café . Now Vios Café, twice a week, Tuesdays and Fridays at 2:30. 45 minutes of writing, then we read. It’s noisy at Louisa’s. Music, talk, the coffee machine. Keep writing. Shove your words at the noise. Jack writes on a yellow legal pad split down the middle. Keep the lines short and you get better verbs. Bob writes in a field-notes notebook turned sideways, split down the middle. Both Jack and Bob hate –LY adverbs. Sickeningly, allowably, enlighteningly, even salaciously. Jack’s rewriting his Ricky Edwards coming of age novel. The new title is Either/Or, homage to a philosopher named Kierkegaard .In January, 2011, Jack’s novel, Blood, came out from Camel Press. Bob’s rewriting Murdock #6, Murdock Tackles Taos. In February, 2009, Bob’s how-to, The Weekend Novelist Rewrites the Novel, came out from Watson-Guptill.  Roots When Jack and I wrote The Weekend Novelist Writes a Mystery, we were both writing fiction. Jack had published a novel, The Stolen House, and loads of short stories. I had a couple of Murdocks (Private Eye books), a skewed attempt at a thriller, and a tennis novel. The how-to-write a mystery book sprang from Dell’s rejection of how-to-write a short story in 90 minutes. The Dell editor said: how about writing a how-to about mystery novels? Two and a half years later, after tossing out...

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Going Cosmic with Timed Writing

Going Cosmic–The Power of Writing Practice ©2011 By Jack Remick & Robert J. Ray Writing practice, writing under the clock, frees you from the clutches of the infernal ghost in the culture machine – the editor. The editor, wrapped in rules and logic, dresses up like mom, and dad, and the third grade teacher who taught you to dot your I’s and cross your T’s, and begin every sentence with a capital letter. The editor, logic posing as a rocket scientist  puts astronauts on the moon, builds atomic bombs, creates architectural marvels out of steel and concrete and glass – but the editor cannot open the doorway to the creative unconscious. Helpless in the clutches of the ghost in the culture machine, the language dies a cold, cold death. The dead language is all around us. It is around us in Pentagon obfu-speak, it is around us in oprahesque-tele-babble, it is around us in politico-pseudo-psycho chatter, it is around us in the punchless wonders of thickly paragraphed novels marching over the edge of the world like literary lemmings – weak verb, soft noun, zero conflict, washed out, pale skinned three-legged lemmings. With writing practice, writing under the clock, you shoulder the dead language aside to discover the energy of your creative powers. The dead language: “He slipped out of the room to look for the clock, and by his...

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A Tribute to Sydney Pollack

When we taught in the UW Screenwriting Program, we were lucky enough to spend a Saturday with the late Syndey Pollack. Pollack, at an invitation from his good friend Stewart Stern, flew himself up from LA in his own Lear Jet to make himself available as a resource to budding UW scriptwriters. Sydney Pollack is a director-producer, an LA guy who owns his own production company. One of his early movies was They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? (1969) One of his big money-makers was Out of Africa (director-producer, 1986). He directed Three Days of the Condor (1975). He produced and directed Absence of Malice (1981), White Palace (1990), Dead Again (1991), and two dozen others. His production company produced Sense and Sensibility. The format of the six-hour session at the UW was Q&A. Some of the A’s stretched out, burgeoning with promise, to 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes. The depth was astounding. So was the clarity. Here are some notes and a write-up of that Saturday meeting that we later used in our fiction—novel, short story—classes. Three lessons from Sydney Pollack that might be helpful for your fiction: 1. Template. When Pollack reads a first draft script, he asks a simple question: What is the story? He’s looking for a template, a simple thematic pattern that he can use to gauge each character, each scene, each setting, each...

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Interview with Jack Remick by Joel Chafetz

A text interview where Jack and Joel Chafetz discuss Jack’s recently published novel, Blood. Published by Camel Press, Seatle, WA. (2011) This is an insightful reading that helps us understand Jack’s writing process and his complex storyline in Blood

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Copyright & Excerpts

©2010-2017 Jack Remick, Robert J. Ray. All rights Reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including text and images, without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Short excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jack Remick and Robert J. Ray and "Bob and Jacks Writing Blog" with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.