What Makes The Master Writer?

  Thumbing through the latest New Yorker issue (March 28, 2016) turned up a pleasant surprise: a short story, “My Purple Scented Novel,” by Ian McEwan, probably today’s most highly regarded English novelist. Predictably for me, the story proved as satisfying as cold watermelon on a hot North Carolina summer day. Then I began to wonder: What…

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…

Herding The Creative Thrust

The "creative thrust" mentioned in the last post has to do with the relative intimacies of one's writing. These may change from time to time – based on the writer's growth and on his/her intentions toward the text and the reader. For the most part, these intimacies can be summed up this way: style –…