Articles by Aaron Gansky

What I Look For as an Editor

Most readers, at some point, have read a novel (or memoir, or short story, or autobiography etc.) and wondered how it was ever published. The fact of the matter is someone—usually an acquisitions editor—saw something of value in the writing. And while it can be discouraging for an amateur writer…

Read More

Interactive Fiction

Those of you who have been fortunate enough to not know me personally may not know the extent of my nerdness (nerdosity? nerdity?—only a super-nerd would debate the proper noun form of the quality of a nerd.) The branches of my nerd interests range from Star Wars and Star Trek,…

Read More

Language of Fiction

My last post was about the first of two constants in fiction—tension. This post will focus on the second: Language. By that, I don’t simply mean English or Spanish or whatever language you choose to write in. Language is more a term that encompasses vocabulary, imagery, and figurative language. Though…

Read More

The First of Two Constants in Fiction

My Creative Writing students like to tease me. Every time we begin a new section, some new feature of writing as yet undiscussed by us, I begin by saying something like, “This is one of the most important aspects of fiction.” And while I maintain that setting, character, plot, etc….

Read More

Making Prose Sing

Recently, I hit a bit of a writer’s block. This is not surprising for anyone who writes, but for whatever reason, I was shocked. I’d just finished up my young adult fantasy novel which, for the most part, told itself. But beginning a new project with new characters flummoxed me….

Read More

The Habit of Art

I don’t watch a lot of television, but one show I enjoyed was Monk. If you’re unfamiliar with it, it was an old detective show based around an OCD ex-cop with an incredible power of perception. A dead body would show up, the San Francisco police would call him in,…

Read More

Stillness

Charles Baxter, in Burning Down the House, Essays on Fiction, devotes an entire chapter to a principle he calls “Stillness.” To paraphrase a rather lengthy and well documented argument, he proposes that stillness, a moment in fiction where action subsides and characters/narrators focus on the minutiae of their surroundings, “is…

Read More