This Time, It’s All In The Technique

  I’ve had the experience of watching a movie in a local theater, the person in the row in front of me busy whispering aloud, explaining what transpires on the screen to his or her companion. Yes, such prattle may add to your own understanding of this cinematic event, but it’s damned annoying. And so…

Humanizing A Legend

The Kid, by Ron Hansen Over the years Ron Hansen has been perhaps my favorite contemporary writer, and as far as I know, I’ve been a loyal reader, having read every published piece he’s written. Even met him years ago in Atlanta, had the opportunity to chat briefly with him that evening. The thing about being…

THE SOCIAL COMPLEXITIES OF WAR

    The novel is a living thing, an organism, if you will, mirroring the people and the societies it emerges from. Most reckon its original emergence with Daniel Defoe’s works, Moll Flanders and Robinson Crusoe in the early 1700s. What has made it increasingly popular is its take on the lives of common folk,…

How Much Editing Is Enough?

You’ve had a request for your complete manuscript from an agent or editor. Suddenly your mouth goes dry. Your knees are shaky. Is your manuscript REALLY ready for prime time? OR Let’s say you’re a DIY person, and you publish yourself through Amazon or Smashwords, or some other self publishing organ. Will your readers toss your book…

Booktravel

The last decade has been an eye opener for me regarding the broad expanse of subject matter in novels around the world, the novelists and their work in faraway lands, and the styles of writing. American writing differs from that of most other nations, it seems to me, in that American novelists have given much…

Revolutionary and Reading Blind

  The better writers across the world realize that they, through their writing, can be agents of change. Portuguese writer Jose Saramago was precisely this. But better not to overtly rail against the established order; better to cast parables, simple but profoundly incisive metaphors, as a way of allowing readers to see the world anew. It’s…

Using Italics For Character Thoughts – – A Good Idea?

  This may seem ho-hum during a week of new year’s resolutions, bowl games, and the first nasty winter weather, but Nancy, a writer friend brought me a writer’s dilemma yesterday. We writers are beginning to see passages in books and stories in which a character’s inner thoughts are italicized. How, Nancy asked, do we…