Frank from Durham, NC

August 15, 2018

How to get Coaching

Hello Mr. Pinkwater.  

I have been reading a book by a friend of yours, Bailey White, Mama Makes Her Mind Up.  I am trying to get some ideas on exactly what my story is, and how to get some “more than armature” coaching.  I am writing about a childhood adventure, and, just like Ms. White, I want my southern existence to shine.  I believe my account may enter the realm of a narrative essay more than a short story.  It is some over three thousand words, and I take the liberty to digress from the theme to explain things.   Ms. White’s short stories are “crisp” reads to me, and it seems as though just as I am getting into the story, the story is over.  Can you please tell me what my story may be just from what I have told you?  And, do you have any suggestions about how I can get some good help looking at the story and critiquing?  I am born and raised southern, Piedmonth, NC.  I know what I want my story to say, and I know how I want it to sound.  I’m concerned about structure, moving away from and back to the theme, how to weed out unnecessary dead wood.   Many thanks in advance. 

Daniel replies:

You are asking the wrong person. I have always tried to approach writing as an amateur, even though I've made my living doing it. What I do, when possible, is write a story for myself, one I want to read. I don't think about theory. I don't know, but I assume Ms. White does something similar. You could ask her.