The Angst of Choices Made

Redemption is a recurring theme in modern literature. I think it’s because we moderns are more aware of choices not made as well as those made. Ah, the simple life, it hardly exists anymore, does it? At least that’s what Bernhard Schlink’s book The Weekend, (Das Wochenende) seems to say. ¬† Visit my website here. […]

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Racing Among Narrators

  In the books you read, do you consider the narrators reliable? This is a question that has been asked more and more over recent decades. It’s an undeniable fact that, just as in written historical accounts, modern fiction readers know that the narrator is part invention, part author’s perspective. But when and where is […]

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Redemption and Violence

When I can’t thing of anything much to say about writing in general, or haven’t seen a movie, or not much rubs me right about communication technology, I, out of desperation just may post something I’ve written. This is one such night. The following story was inspired by part of Cormac McCarthy’s cowboy trilogy, but […]

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Beware of the Hiccups

It’s been my experience – from my own writing and workshopping and editing others – that most problems – call them hiccups – for writers working on novels come in three places: the beginning the middle the end I don’t really have tongue in cheek as I write this, and, no, I don’t mean writers […]

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The Thing About Novellas

Novellas, such as Ian McEwan’s Black Dogs, seem to be way more popular outside the U.S., and I don’t understand why. What does a¬†novella offer the casual reader? a concise story a quick read a small but memorable cast of characters. Think of the novella, then as a short, three-act play.   But if you […]

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The Writer’s Temperament

Okay, you’ve dabbled at poetry. You’ve written a short story or two, and then you’ve been fortunate and had a memoir piece published. Now you’re considering a novel. Okay, so what are you: poet? Short story writer? Memoirist? Novelist? I tried a parse these questions in this post, perhaps successfully. Perhaps not. But every writer […]

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Making Characters Real

  Chad Harbach’s book, The Art of Fielding, has been both praised and panned, the pan, I suppose, because it doesn’t come across at first as serious writing, the praise because it’s damned entertaining. But what makes it entertaining? It’s characters. Characterization has to seem real, even when it’s slightly exaggerated, and the cast of […]

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