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?
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.”
“Try to resist the urge to prune a few bushes while the forest burns.”
“I had been neglecting to follow my story’s lead. I’d been so adamant about what I wanted my story to be that I’d ignored the signs of what it needed to be.”
“…require that characters deliver their news while climbing three flights of stairs, place a protagonist’s important interview in a too-noisy or sinister location that will put her off balance.”