Alden Bell.. on Writing
I feel like most of what I've learned about writing I've learned in the trenches.
Failure after failure.
But the most important thing I've learned is this:
Write for an audience of one--yourself--so that even if you're never published you'll still have one satisfied reader.
Alden Bell... on Writing The Reapers
I wrote the first line of Reapers in my head, actually, while I was walking to Subway to get a ham sandwich for lunch. I knew I had to start the book that day, and I had put it off all morning.
So on my walk to Subway, I determined to compose a first line so that when I got back home and sat down at the computer, I would have a head start.
I knew I wanted something big--some epic claim about the world or about humanity or about God, and I knew I wanted that line to reflect the personality of the protagonist I had in mind.
I wondered what such a girl, whose name I had decided would be Temple, would think about God.
And then I realized, well, she would be pretty impressed by him--a nodding approval like you might give to a magician who pulls off a pretty neat trick before your eyes.
And there was my first line: "God is a slick god."
Alden Bell... on Teaching
I actually prefer teaching high school to college. While as a teacher you have to deal with a lot more disciplinary nonsense, the student-teacher relationships are a lot stronger.
In high school, you see those kids almost every day for at year or more, while in college you may only have the students for ten or fifteens sessions.
It's all business with college students, and they tend to flee the moment the class is over. There's a lot more room in high school for the effects of personality in the classroom.
Honestly, I love teaching in general--no matter who I'm teaching.