Podcast #29 is now available for download here.
In her guest lecture at the 2005 Odyssey workshop, P. D. Cacek debunked some of the alleged “rules” about writing. In this podcast, she covers a series of such “rules,” explains their limitations and inaccuracies, and provides the more complex truth. For example, writers are often advised to limit the number of point-of-view characters in their novels to three. That’s an arbitrary number and certainly not the best choice for every novel. While it is true that an author should think carefully about POV, and keep the number of POV characters to a minimum, the author must write what the story needs. Writers are often told to use complete sentences and correct grammar. That is not always the best option for a particular moment or scene. But the author needs to know the rules of grammar before breaking them, so that when he does break them, he does so mindfully and for good reason.
The winner of both a Bram Stoker and World Fantasy Award, P. D. Cacek has written over two hundred short stories, appearing in such anthologies as 999, Joe Lansdale’s Lords of the Razor, Night Visions 12, Inferno and the inaugural YA anthology of horror fiction from Scholastic Books, 666:The Sign of the Beast.
Although probably always considering herself a short story writer, Cacek has four published novels, just completed a fifth, Visitation Rites (a good old-fashioned ghost story) and has started writing plays–two so far, The Last Daughter and The Stories Teller . . . neither of which are horror.
A native Westerner, Cacek now lives in Fort Washington, PA . . . in a haunted house across from a haunted mill.
When not writing, she can often be found either with a group of costumed story-tellers called The Patient Creatures (www.creatureseast.com), or haunting local cemeteries looking for inspiration.
You can visit her web-site at www.pdcacek.com.
For more information about Odyssey, its graduates and instructors, please visit our website at http://www.odysseyworkshop.org.