A New Manifesto to Soothe My Restless Animus

Frantisek Kupka – The Yellow Scales (inspired by Charles Baudelaire)


[Last year I wrote a Manifesto which I kept pinned to my wall.  I thought I’d continue the tradition and write a new manifesto for 2013.]


Help yourself to life. Never retreat from or resist love.

Write in a quiet place, but never write in solitude. Keep the world close by.

The story is in each letter, word, phrase, sentence, paragraph, and page. Edit to the bone. Don’t patronize your reader with ornamentation. Don’t overwork your words. Do not doubt your vision.

The novel is a work of art.  Don’t disrespect it by rushing to the finish line.

Only think of your reader for the sake of clarity.  Don’t use your reader as a means to avoid risk.

Remember it’s the conversations no one wants to have that make the best dialogue in fiction.

Every little moment on the page is a breadcrumb.  Never underestimate your breadcrumb trail.

Draw pictures with words. Simple, direct, and honest. Never didactic.

Witness the strange, up close and personal.

The risk for something good and something bad is always there. Savor this. Do not fight it.

A good critique should hurt as much as a punch in the face.

Remember, if They think you’re crazy, you can get away with almost anything.

Keep the plan simple. Finish the book. Publish more stories. Conquer the world.