Why fiction, and why stories?―#AuthorToolboxBlogHop

This post is part of the monthly #AuthorToolboxBlogHop. Read more great posts about writing here! There must have been moments even that afternoon when Daisy tumbled short of his dreams--not through her own fault but because of the colossal vitality of his illusion. The Great Gatsby, Chapter 5 I'm teaching The Great Gatsby this term,... Continue Reading →

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Dialogue #3: Dialect

This post comes third in our series on dialogue. To read the first post about the dialogue's three basic forms or last week's discussion of realistic dialogue, click these links. This week, we'll look at how characters' spoken dialects might be rendered in fiction, the effects these different portrayals might have on readers, and the... Continue Reading →

First days of school, and a quick post

Sunset above Denmark. Summer is done for me. A week of workshops with colleagues, a week's orientation for new students. The fjord is bursting now with a world-full of teenagers, and they have come loaded down with suitcases and nerves, excitement and their blue-toothed boomboxes, their overwhelmed emails, overwhelming excitement, their homesickness, fledgling independence, their... Continue Reading →

Myths of the 3rd Person Narrator

Several weeks ago here on Words like Trees, we surveyed a range of common narrative points of view, from character-turned-narrator first person to free indirect style, omniscient, and close third person. In the weeks since, and in particular as I have been making my way slowly (very slowly) through the first volume and a half... Continue Reading →

Old City: a visit to Pompeii

When the train doors open, we can already feel the heat. Nine forty-five, cloudless sky, the second heatwave of the summer sliding leisurely through Europe. We are spending the day in Pompeii. We've taken the train over from Naples, six euros for the express with air conditioning, three euros for the slow train. Last night,... Continue Reading →

Short Stories in Naples

On Thursday morning, at the patisserie Poppella, I wrote this in my journal: I'm so overwhelmed by Naples. It's so busy. I feel like I'll be trampled when I walk on the street. Everything is dirty. Garbage is all over the streets. I'm afraid to take out my computer. I'm afraid someone will take it.... Continue Reading →

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