Archives

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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Fiction Is About the Unspeakable

I read a wonderful essay posted to Glimmertrain’s bulletin that I wanted to share with you. It’s called “All of Old. Nothing Else Ever. Ever Tried. Ever Failed,” by the writer, Silas Dent Zobal. I think it nicely gets to the heart of what writers try to do, and that is, they try to write about […]

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There Are No Throw-Away Details

A few weeks ago, I went to a writers conference and sat in a great session about detail, taught by Hallie Ephron. She asked us all to think of a character from one of our stories and then imagine what was on that person’s desk at work. (Or you could imagine what was on the […]

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Scenes: Back to Basics

Last Friday, I saw the movie Prometheus, Ridley Scott’s prequel (sort of) to Alien. It’s not great. In fact, it’s hugely disappointing. Bad plot, lame characters and unintelligent action/reaction. Events happen that don’t have anything to do with events prior to them nor do they influence events following them. Too frequently, I was left wondering, […]

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Not-So-Literary Jobs of Famous Writers

I have a day job. I edit content for the Discovery News Tech website. I also have a life that fills up with lots of activities that have nothing to do with writing. So squeezing in the time to write feels just like that, a squeeze. Sometimes I fantasize about how wonderful it would be […]

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Stay With Your Crap

This past Saturday I had difficulty writing. I knew what the problem was right away. I have absorbed a lot of craft ideas as a result of writing this blog, which doesn’t sound like a problem. In fact, it sounds like an advantage. After all, I’m reading as a writer and seeing with greater clarity […]

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Books on Craft

I just added a new page to my blog devoted entirely to books on craft. It’s a tab at the top of the page right beside “About,” or you can access it here. Please send me a comment if you’d like me to add a writing craft book to this list. Thanks!

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The First Sentence

Lately, I’ve become preoccupied with story beginnings. I blame a writer’s conference I went to where I had to turn in the first 250 words of a short story. I was amazed at how little I had conveyed in those 250 words. (I wrote a post about it, which you can read if you want […]

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A Year Without Revision

My writing life has changed quite a bit in the last couple of years. Just a few years ago, I wasn’t writing at all. I had gotten to a point, after quitting an MFA program I didn’t like, where I thought my writing was the worst it had ever been. It was a combination of […]

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Writers, Start Your Engines

Currently, I’m reading Sol Stein’s craft book, Stein on Writing, which contains a wealth of information and tips to improve one’s writing. Stein is a playwright, an author and has worked as a literary editor in New York for thirty-six years. I want to share one of the many pieces of advice he has, something […]

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