Growing story ideas

In between novel revisions this winter and spring, I've been working on a few short stories. The more compressed, quicker course of developing and honing these has helped me think about the process and purpose of telling stories, and today I'll share some of what I am learning. Likewise, I would love to hear your... Continue Reading →

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Foraging for stories

I spent a bit of time researching MFA programs yesterday. Just a bit. It's still a ways in the future for me, but I began with a survey of the pros and cons of formally studying creative writing at all. Jennifer Ellis has assembled a helpful list of cons, and the first item she included... Continue Reading →

The Slump: how to start writing again

Today is, I think, the sixth or seventh day I haven't done significant writing work. As in, I have pulled up the Word tab languishing at the bottom of my taskbar, stared at the winding sea of paragraphs, contemplated the next, set my fingers on the keys--and then it was too much. Something I didn't... Continue Reading →

Skiing in Stryn: lessons in perseverance

A short post this week. I'm skiing for a few days with students in the mountains, where the snow is still thick although the air has warmed. We bussed here this morning along the Nordfjord's shores, through rocky valleys and mountain passes, and crossed the snow line just below camp. The Nordic students step into... Continue Reading →

Character development: the bubble model

The lifeblood of so many stories is in their characters. An unsympathetic, unrelatable protagonist can easily drive readers away, and writing believable, sympathetic characters can pose real challenges. Not least among these is the question of how our characters change from beginning to end. How do we write believable, authentic change in our characters? How,... Continue Reading →

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