Artist in Residence 35: Going, going, gone…



That amusing little image swam into my  social media recently and oh BOY. Every writer I know who happened to see it shared it, responded to it, reacted  to it, responded to it. makes you wish there really was such a yard sale, and that you could find a bunch of your favourite writers clustered around thespare punctuation table looking for spare commas or semicolons, or squabbling over a choice piece of discarded dialogue.

If I were having such a sale, there could be a table labelled “beginnings”, and “notes”, and “random narrative scenes” – stuff I scribbled down on pieces of paper or in random notebooks, stories that never really went anywhere and aren’t going to go anywhere in my hands, all the spare bits and pieces that’s cluttering the story cupboard. One would hope somebody might want to do something with these things eventually because I won’t live long enough to get to them all never mind even attempt to do them all justice if I tried.

There could be a table piled with discarded scenes which I hacked out of books which got published without them – in the hope that some completist might want to have and hoard them all.

On the punctuation table I would guess you could find a lot of ellipses. I *DO* seem to use them quite a bit and could probably sell off quite a few without my prose suffering any for the lack.

The “crutch words and weasel words” table would have a choice selection of stuff. And that’s just the ones I know about. I just know someone might sidle up and ask about something I had neve noticed before and probably SHOULD be on there.

I might throw in a batch of underused characters in thehope that someone else might find protagonist potential in them.

What would you be looking to buy? or to sell?




About Alma Alexander

Alma Alexander's life so far has prepared her very well for her chosen career. She was born in a country which no longer exists on the maps, has lived and worked in seven countries on four continents (and in cyberspace!), has climbed mountains, dived in coral reefs, flown small planes, swum with dolphins, touched two-thousand-year-old tiles in a gate out of Babylon. She is a novelist, anthologist and short story writer who currently shares her life between the Pacific Northwest of the USA (where she lives with her husband and two cats) and the wonderful fantasy worlds of her own imagination. You can find out more about Alma on her website (, her Facebook page (, on Twitter ( or at her Patreon page (


Artist in Residence 35: Going, going, gone… — 2 Comments