Category: Writing Craft

Short Stories Surprise

Descent into the Maelstrom

Short stories can illuminate psychological truths without the effort to the writer or the reader of a full-length novel.

Zen in the Art of Writing

Ray Bradbury. 1975

Following Bradbury’s advice, I do a thousand words on stories, fleshing them out. Those that retain gusto, I go with and try to improve.

Speed of a Novel. Middlemarch

More action with shorter sequels is the rule in commercial fiction these days, but I mustn’t forget that the sequels must be full enough to make the skein of actions sensibly linked.

Words and Writing

What else accounts for the difference most of us experience between the vigor of our speech and the difficulty of our writing?

Novel Form

Freytag's Pyramid

Novels require suspense about the outcome between a determined person and a formidable obstacle. If the story cannot be cast in that shape, then another mode of telling the story is required

Live by the Word

Facts are surrounded by words

I spend a lot of time reading words, writing words, and thinking in words. And I’ve noticed a peculiar feature which sometimes happens to me. I start following the words of people who are involved in a dispute – both sides – more than I refer back to the actual actions involved. My thought train…