My World War II novel – or I should call it more accurately a fictional biography – is out in advance copies now, and I’ve asked quite a number of friends and acquaintances to read and review the book. All seem more than willing, but some half are wringing their hands over writing a review. So what’s […]Read More Writing A Book Review, Are You?
Doris Betts, my mentor, told me one day that you’re either innately a short story writer or a novelist. She didn’t mean one couldn’t be the other; she simply meant that one’s nature leaned toward either the short story or the novel. I’ve quoted Lawrence Block below on the rigors of novel writing. I don’t necessarily […]Read More The Long and Short of Story
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 […]Read More Beware of the Hiccups
The Interestings, by Meg Wolitzer Given my stance on this particular strain of postmodern American literature, I shouldn’t like this book, but I do. It’s character-heavy; These imagined people meet as children in Camp Spirit-In-The-Woods, and in a certain camp teepee, decide they’re darned special, special enough, in fact, to call themselves the […]Read More Putting Character Before Story
This is hardly literature, working as it does against the elevation of the human spirit . But there is a remarkable level of intelligence at work here.Read More Really Murdering The Capitol
I'm wondering…. image via depositphotos.com You writers out there, how do you go about structuring your stories? Do you have a plan, or do you just wing it? And do you plot it out? Do you have your characters dance on plot's puppet strings? All these are valid ways to write, some maybe more […]Read More And So To Begin…
We talk occasionally about the unity of story, how it's supposed to hang together and keep us interested. But my writing pal, Lyn, brought me a tough question recently: How do characterizations fit into that unity of story? At first thought – they don't. Characters are discrete, individualistic, and don't seem to led themselves to […]Read More Painting Character and Plot