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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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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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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 Ending Is an Invitation

Recently, I attended the Muse & the Marketplace writers conference sponsored by Grub Street. I wrote a piece last week about how I came away from one of the sessions with a new sense of what makes a great story beginning. Another session focused on story endings. The speaker for that session was Robin Black. […]

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Summer Workshop in P-Town With Pam Houston

Exciting news. I found out this week that I got the very last available spot for Pam Houston’s Advanced Fiction Workshop at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. A week of talking about structure, narrative tension, voice, point of view, dialogue, beginnings and endings. I’m psyched. I’ll let you know how it goes. And […]

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Get Lost

In the beginning, writing teachers tell you, “Write what you know.” But as far as I can tell, writing fiction is about writing to find out. You discover new people, places and things. You discover yourself. It’s particularly poignant in fiction because, on the one hand, you’re making it up as you go along. But […]

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