jaylake had an entry last week on Evil Title Mashups, almost sort of like a genre version of the Jeopardy! game show category "Before & After". What amazes me is how quick some people are, and how much I want to hear the one-sentence teasers that would pitch these various "movies" or books... Jefferson Starship Troopers indeed!
One More Serious Thing
douglascohen had an entry last week on Odyssey and other workshops, including some thoughts on Clarion. While douglascohen attended Odyssey and not Clarion, both are six week workshops and some of his comments have resonance with both of these as well as shorter workshops.
I've run across blogs of people who have done both Clarion and Odyssey -- and should you even want to consider doing this, I'd recommend Clarion first. It's not that one is so much better than the other, it's that they are a little different. Clarion changes each week, so you get a different writer's perspective with each new instructor. Odyssey is more coherent, with Jeanne Cavelos at the helm all the way, with different guests brought in each week. I may be off the mark here (EDIT NOTE: Apparently I am -- see comments thread), especially as I am writing off-the-cuff and I've never attended Odyssey, but I think it's possible to say that Clarion is about writing and Odyssey is more about editing. Lord knows we need to know about both as a writer. People are free to correct me if my impression ain't valid... (grin)
The Big Commitment
The problem with attending either a Clarion or an Odyssey is that they run for six weeks. Since the U.S. increasingly views vacation time as something evil, as opposed to Europe, freeing up six weeks for a writer's boot camp workshop isn't easy. A number of people I've known going to Clarion are either in between jobs, arranging start times to provide the workshop window, or just out-and-out quit their job in order to concentrate on writing. Neither is easy to accomplish.
The goal, if you wish, is to break you down, expose the bone and sinews so it can be rearranged and made new again. (ewwww-grin) After all, to get in you have to show some ability to write to begin with. But to break bad habits, and we all start off with some bad habits, and to really think about where you're going, both writing-wise and marketing-wise, takes some effort. Fortunately, you can heal in a few weeks, months... years... (double-edged grin)
Anyway, enough comments for today. See ya later...