Composite Characters: Fantasy Meets Real Life, Real Life Alters Fantasy

In formal venues, I have presented and written about the necessity of research in fiction, the caveats, the immersion process, the repercussions of altering history or fact, the responsibility of writers to glean detail in the most absolute accuracy. But for this post, I want to talk about the fun part of interacting with facts (orContinue reading “Composite Characters: Fantasy Meets Real Life, Real Life Alters Fantasy”

Writers, writers, and more writers, Geesh…

Let’s think about what that means. There are more writers than there are readers. Bing.  That is correct. The Decatur Book Festival was both an inspiring place for all the people there gathered to talk about books, and also a place to remember to be scared, very scared, for the wave of talented writers outContinue reading “Writers, writers, and more writers, Geesh…”

An Alternative To Shitty First Drafts?

To be straight: I revise. I revise and revise and revise and revise and revise and revise… You get the drift. And if you’re mathematically inclined, just add an exponent and use the alef. When do I stop revising? When I look at the thing and feel like vomiting.  Seriously. But I have had theContinue reading “An Alternative To Shitty First Drafts?”

Fake Reviews and blah, blah, blah

One of my favorite students said, “That’s the problem with Amazon Reviews: they should not call them Reviews; they should call them Opinions.” If you’re the soundbite kind of person, a Twitter type loving the 25 words or less kind of thing, this post is about this: I don’t like a star rating on aContinue reading “Fake Reviews and blah, blah, blah”

The Future in Fiction (Not the Future of Fiction, Please)

So, I ran across this truly engaging conversation on FSG’s blog between writers Nathaniel Rich and Robin Sloan about the future in Fiction. It’s tempting to think of future in fiction as belonging to the realm of sci-fi, but Sloan and Rich are asking us to reach beyond prophetic vision into an understanding of the futureContinue reading “The Future in Fiction (Not the Future of Fiction, Please)”

Writers on Writers’ Block

This interesting video showcases a number of writers talking about writers’ block. What always shocks and disappoints me is to see so many professional writers dismiss writers’ block as non-existent. Most of those who comment dismissively on it seem to have a very narrow definition for writers’ block: the inability to put words on paper.Continue reading “Writers on Writers’ Block”

The Stories I Like To Teach 2: Robert Travieso’s “Bouncing” As I look over and scour through the materials I select for teaching fiction, I see that I have a strong preference for stories with salient plots.  Quiet Checkovian stories are certainly admirable, but I find the pull of fiction strongest with a good mix of character development and enticing plots. I also makeContinue reading “The Stories I Like To Teach 2: Robert Travieso’s “Bouncing””