Avoid the Easy Resolution

When we write, if we tape our feelings down to the page, if we do it with any thoroughness and honesty, they become rapidly an artifact. Later, we return to them like reading history. Those were the things in my mind that day. We can see the way seas of our thoughts change, and yet... Continue Reading →

How Much Should I Research?

In the story I have been drafting these last weeks, I've hit up against real edges in my knowledge. I have dived on into research, poring over academic articles, newspapers, and of course Wikipedia. I have taken awful volumes down of notes. I have learned much, and I've asked questions. I am generally not a... Continue Reading →

A Plotter Pantsing: what I’ve learned, and what I’m still trying to figure out

In Twitter's #WritingCommunity, the discussion of plotting and pantsing our stories is a common thread. Plotting, the careful outlining of a story before writing, and pantsing, the seat-of-our-pants, unplanned, accepting-what-comes creation of a story, each draws a crowd of strong adherents. Out foraging for mushrooms this week, we came across this beautiful chanterelle, late for... Continue Reading →

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 →

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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