Category: Writing

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…

Distance. Insight into Show, Don’t Tell

John Gardner in The Art of Fiction described a very useful addition to the discussion about point of view (POV). He called it distance. Distance is a measure of emotional nearness presented to the reader. Understanding distance gives more insight into the constraint that all writers know: “Show. Don’t tell.” Gardner focused on distance with…

Essay or Story

As a person interested in issues, sometimes I get a passion for a developing idea yet am unsure whether to express it as an essay or a story. Sometimes I write a critical essay, other times a short story. Why would I ever want to write a piece of fiction to lay out an idea…

Thomas Wolfe’s House

After Biltmore on Saturday, Kris and I walked in downtown Asheville  Sunday morning and early afternoon. Great restaurants, street vendors, and specialty stores. Thomas Wolfe’s childhood house was in easy walking distance. He populated Look Homeward Angel with characters drawn from the boarding house his mother ran and the town he lived in. After it…