A reading and discussion group for writing instructors and enthusiasts.
Is your story a hundred unit apartment building? A cottage in the woods? A skyscraper? A hut? A victorian mansion? A pyramid? A tent? A temple?
Republished and abridged from John Reed’s website. Visit https://www.johnreedbooks.com/help-for-writers for more. Four words should be posted above your desk as you write your thriller: TIME IS RUNNING OUT. Here are some of the conventions of the genre: 1. In a thriller, people confront problems unsolvable by institutions or agencies. No 911, no psychiatrist. 2. The […]
How do we abandon the concept of being good, or getting it right? How do we train ourselves to produce stories on command? Those are hard questions to answer, since no two writers are quite the same. But brains do have some common characteristics. Brains are all about recognizing patterns. Where no pattern exists, the […]
You can write faster than editors read their slush.
Every year, I go to a group of cabins in the mountains on the banks of the Mackenzie River here in Oregon for Ghost Story Weekend. We set the goal of starting Friday night and having at least one story ready to read out loud on Saturday night. Most years, pretty much every writer gets […]
When we craft stories, essays or memoir, the “deeper” elements are the last thing on our minds. At least they should be. Concentrate on getting the story down, however rough around the edges. My opinion is that if you write the story deeply and honestly, the metaphors, themes, symbols (all that subtext!) will take care […]
We usually think of Characters and Setting to be separate elements of storytelling. But they are way more linked than they appear! Today we will be taking a close look at a short excerpt from J.C. Geiger’s 2017 novel, Wildman, to get a sense of how he weaves both of these techniques together, along with some more […]
“Whatever traits you want the reader to remember need to be magnified and exaggerated, even if only a little bit.”