Monthly Archives: June 2012

Your E-Book Is Reading You

I don’t have a Kindle or any other kind of e-book. I prefer paper to plastic when it comes to a “screen.” I’ve said it before in other forums, but the ideal electronic book for me would be a paperback-like object — one that was bendable, smelled like paper and had 200 or so pages […]

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Don’t Get Trapped in the Blogmire

I’ve only been writing this blog for about five weeks now, give or take a few days. And in that time, I’ve noticed something a little disconcerting. People — by that, I mean “writers” — are spending too much time writing blog posts or reading other blogs — so much time that it’s distracting them […]

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Drunk Texts From Famous Authors

There’s a funny piece in the Paris Review worth reading. It’s all illustration, a quick read and will bring a smile to your face. It’s called Drunk Texts From Famous Authors. Had John Cheever an iPhone, he might have texted a friend: “The club car on the 6:12 always seemed to me a pleasant spot […]

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Data Mine the Work

Yesterday in my post, The Exploratory Draft, I mentioned the interview I read in The Writer with Adam Johnson. Johnson, like many writers, believes that successful stories come out of hard work. You have to put in the hours. He writes at least 1,000 words per day and he keeps track of his progress in […]

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The Exploratory Draft

I’ve started doing something completely different. Instead of trying to write a story. I’ve begun simply to write. The writing is more like riffing or freewriting. I focus on the characters, or the situation, or the setting, or the emotions, or the back story and just go. My goal each time I sit down to […]

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Leaving a Bookstore

“Leaving any bookstore is hard, especially on a day in August, when the street outside burns and glares, and the books inside are cool and crisp to the touch; especially on a day in January, when the wind is blowing, the ice is treacherous, and the books inside seem to gather together in colorful warmth. […]

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Pop Up Books for Grown Ups

In this world filling fast with digital books, I love to see that paper books are still going a long way toward capturing the imagination of readers. Thank good for artists like Mengyu Chen. Check out her pop-up books for grown ups. And then ask yourself, What if there were pop-up libraries devoted only to […]

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What’s the Situation?

I have a couple of short stories stories I’m working on that don’t seem to be going anywhere. I took a break from spinning my wheels the other day and came across a little section titled “Situation” in the book Creating Short Fiction, by Damon Knight. He writes, “A dramatic situation is unstable—you know it […]

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Dialogue That Multitasks

While at the library last night, I glanced at a copy of the July 2012 issue of The Writer and a quote from ZZ Packer on the cover caught my eye. It was about dialogue and prompted me to open to the article and read the interview. I thought I’d share what she said about […]

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An Emotion ‘Tasting’ Chart

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about emotion in fiction — how to convey it, how to evoke it. I have a lot to say about it and am sure that my comments will evolve and grow over time. For today, I simply want to point you to a very interesting chart that breaks emotions […]

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