Short Story and Novel: Key Differences in Form–#AuthorToolboxBlogHop

This week's post is part of the monthly Author Toolbox Blog Hop. Check out others' great posts about the craft and business of writing! I first encountered Haruki Murakami through his short story collection The Elephant Vanishes. These stories of middle-class life in Japan were bizarre, esoteric, often difficult to get my mind around. The... Continue Reading →

Mode, Genre, and Form: Three Ways to Think More Deeply about Our Texts

In the huge range of texts we write, distinguishing among them helps us know what we are writing, helps readers know what to expect, and helps us connect our pieces to readers who will enjoy them. Today we'll discuss three central ways texts are distinguished from one another: mode, genre, and form. These tools help... 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 →

Conflict a copout?

I've been working on a short story recently. Unlike most of what I've been writing the last few years, it's solid realism. I didn't expect this to make it a particular challenge for me, but as I have been slogging my way through outlines, a first draft of one-and-a-quarter scenes, doubt has besieged me of... Continue Reading →

Efficient revising: what order is best?

The four faces of revising. Yesterday, I completed a first draft of rewrites to my novel manuscript. It's been three months since I began, thirteen chapters of new material, and copious reworking of the existing. It's a celebration, to be sure, and I'm content to bask in the glory of a milestone passed for a... Continue Reading →

Anatomy of a cliffhanger

They're page-turning. They're nail-biting. They're infuriating. They're everywhere. Cliffhangers, those endings to scenes, chapters, or whole works that create anticipation in the audience, sometimes feel like the bread and butter of modern storytelling televised and written, and as a literary tool they have a long history. Today, let's step back and take their measure. What... Continue Reading →

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