4 Questions to Improve Your Nonfiction Book Draft So you’ve written your nonfiction book draft. Now what? Getting the first draft out may have been easier than you’d imagined. Perhaps it spilled out of you in a torrent of ideas and feelings and energy. Perhaps it didn’t, and you spilled buckets of blood, sweat, and […]
Making Thoughtful Writing Resolutions It’s a new year, and for many that means it’s time to make writing resolutions. Those among us who write know that in year’s past we’ve pronounced each January 1, “This year I will write more!” This year, however, I am resolving and encouraging you, dear writer, to write not more […]
Speaking with youth writers this week about plot. Josip Novakovich writes in FICTION WRITER’S WORKSHOP, “To summarize (at the risk of oversimplifying): Plot depends on passions—on how characters struggle to fulfill them.” I’m dumbfounded sometimes about the inordinate amount of energy spent on methods for plotting and creating “original” plots. I sigh when I hear […]
Where is the reader in your text? Do you have a narrator or a narratee? David Lodge, in The Art of Fiction, explains “the narratee is any evocation of, or surrogate for, the reader of a novel within the text itself.” Does your narrator stand in for your reader? Does he or she or it draw […]
When characters face painful truths about themselves, real drama happens. A plot-driven story cannot neglect three-dimensional characterization. In the battle between plot versus characterization, characterization always takes precedence for me.
‘The Paris Review’ To Launch An App – AppNewser I’m looking forward to the new app from The Paris Review. From an interview with Truman Capote in Writers at Work: The Paris Review Interviews, edited by Malcolm Cowley, copyright 1958: Interviewer: Are there devices one can use in improving one’s technique? Capote: Work is the only […]
Good writing begins with a commitment to the craft. If one will not study language construction and storytelling, if one will not accept constructive criticism, then one will likely produce the same level of writing again and again, no matter how much one writes. No meaningful progress will be made. The first job of the […]
The aim of every artist is to arrest motion, which is life, by artificial means and hold it fixed so that a hundred years later, when a stranger looks at it, it moves again since it is life. William Faulkner, from an early-1956 interview, published in Writers at Work: The Paris Review Interviews, 1958.
“Writing is spooky. There is no routine of an office to keep you going, only the blank page each morning, and you never know where your words are coming from, those divine words. So your professionalism at best is fragile.” ~ Norman Mailer,The Spooky Art What spooks you about writing?