On Revision by Tony Conaway

This post came as a response to a question I posed about revision: how you approach it and how you feel about it. This answer was so good, I asked Tony if I could repost it here. Thanks Tony!

I have no trouble revising my work. I usually want it to be as good as possible.

I have no problem revising my fiction. My problem is deciding when to STOP tweaking it.

I revise to catch errors, of course.

I revise to catch overused works and sentence structure. (No semi-colons allowed, and few colons.)

I revise to even out the pacing. (One scene may resolve too quickly. Another may get more space than the scene deserves.)

Continue reading “On Revision by Tony Conaway”

[Reading Room] The Radium Room by Tony Conaway

This week I’m bringing you an interview with Tony Conaway whose story The Radium Room is in the anthology Spring Into ScFi.

We talk about his inspiration for the story, how his love of detail (he calls it “trivia”) informs his writing, and yes, we talk about homing rats… Continue reading “[Reading Room] The Radium Room by Tony Conaway”

Misapprehension – A writing prompt from

Today’s prompt is about the (sometimes comedic) art of misapprehension.

The Prompt

Today’s prompt focuses on misapprehension – that is, interpreting something incorrectly. Too often, in fiction, every character communicates perfectly. That’s not the way it happens in real life.

Example: award-winning author Harlan Ellison once misheard a conversation at a party. He overheard a woman say, “”Jeffy is fine. He’s always fine.”” What Ellison actually heard was “”He’s always FIVE.”” That inspired the story “”Jefty Is Five,”” about a boy who never grows up.

Alternately, the misapprehension could be visual. True story: when I graduated college, I moved to a southern town – one of those places where anti-intellectualism seemed to be the prevailing attitude. I met lots of girls there, but I was looking for an intellectual girlfriend. One day, while sitting in dingy waiting room, I saw a pretty girl outside. To my amazement, she wore a tee-shirt with the letters “”SPQR”” on it. SPQR stood for – in Latin – “”The Senate and the People of Rome.”” What kind of woman wore a tee-shirt that referenced Ancient Rome? I had to meet her! I rushed outside, saw the girl…and discovered that her shirt didn’t say “”SPQR.”” It said “”SPORT.”” Stretched around her well-endowed chest, the final letter was hadn’t been visible from where I sat. (I was so disappointed, I didn’t even speak to her.)

So that’s your prompt: misapprehension, either verbal or visual.

About Tony Conaway

Born in Philadelphia, PA, Tony Conaway has written and ghostwritten everything from blogs to books. He has cowritten non-fiction books published by McGraw-Hill, Macmillan and Prentice Hall. His fiction has been published in eight anthologies and numerous publications, including Blue Lake Review, Danse Macabre, Rind Literary Magazine, qarrtsiluni, The Rusty Nail and Typehouse Literary Magazine.

His odder work includes co-writing the script for a planetarium production, and jokes performed by Jay Leno on The Tonight Show. He blogs at http://wayneaconaway.blogspot.com/ He was recently a guest on the Indy Writer Podcast, talking about writing short fiction.