Nasty Little Beast, Part Two

On Monday’s Nasty Little Beast post, I mentioned my snarky bout of professional envy (“PE” for short) relating to Chelsea Cain’s success. I went to her talk wondering if the ten-buck nonmember fee would be worth it.

After Ms. Cain’s talk about her ten surefire tips for writing a thriller, my friend M– and I strolled down 10th Avenue with a chill wind at our backs. I admitted to my petty bout of PE. However, I also realized that I no longer felt the PE. Instead I was thinking, Good for Ms. Cain for writing where the writing led. Sometimes it takes guts to do what we want.

M– and I wondered aloud whether we could write a cheesy thriller such as Ms. Cain described. I’m not so sure for myself. In part because some of the tips felt depressingly formulaic. End each chapter on a cliffhanger, for example (tip #2). (Think The DaVinci Code.)

The tip that resonated the most with me was her last of the evening: Value your writing (tip #18!). I told M– that I probably didn’t value my writing enough, and he said, You’re right; you don’t.

Here’s the entirety of Ms. Cain’s last tip: Value your writing; it’s worth millions. With that in mind, the next morning I woke up ready to write that day’s new chapter. Unfortunately, I didn’t know how to enter the scene. What the hell, I decided, I’ll make use of one of Ms. Cain’s tips. So, I opened the chapter with a physical action (tip #4), all the while reminding myself of tip #10: Put it in; you can always take it out later.

Does this make me a fledgling thriller writer? Nah, but my character’s hand signal toward her soon-to-be amore’s dog got me off and running for the day’s writing. Thanks, Ms. Cain, the ten-buck nonmember fee was worth it.

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3 thoughts on “Nasty Little Beast, Part Two

  1. Ah, Robert, how come I’m not surprised that you’d jump to something? Is this how rumors start? Hah!

    That said, M– might like being known as “the mysterious Mr. M”; check out his comment to the Nasty Little Beast post!

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