Author: Aaron Gansky

A Duck Walks into a Pharmacy (Establishing Character in the first line)

A Duck Walks into a Pharmacy (Establishing Character in the first line)

The following is an excerpt from my critical paper I submitted to Antioch University of Los Angeles as part of the requirements for attaining my MFA in Fiction Writing. It focuses on the second of seven different techniques for creating compelling first lines. While sixty-three […]

But You Should See The Other Guy (Establishing Conflict in First Lines)

But You Should See The Other Guy (Establishing Conflict in First Lines)

The following is an excerpt from my critical paper I submitted to Antioch University of Los Angeles as part of the requirements for attaining my MFA in Fiction Writing. It focuses on the first of seven different techniques for creating compelling first lines. When we […]

100 Best First Lines in Novels

100 Best First Lines in Novels

The following is the second excerpt from my Critical Paper I compiled as part of my requirements for my MFA from Antioch University of Los Angeles. It follows the two sections I posted on Monday. GET A LOAD OF THESE: THE 100 BEST LINES IN […]

Firsts in First Lines

Firsts in First Lines

Some time ago, as part of my requirements for my MFA program, I had to construct a critical paper that focused on an aspect of the craft of fiction. I chose to do a critical analysis of the 100 best lines in novels, as comprised […]

Originality is Three Deep

Originality is Three Deep

Often, as writers, we tend to take the path of least resistance. We’ll throw in a tired, worn-out cliché because it’s easier than actually thinking of an original description. The result is a lot of the same stories with the same characters and the same […]

Finding Motivation When You Have None

Finding Motivation When You Have None

I’m going to share with you one of my lowest moments as a writer. After finishing one of my first novels, The Bargain, I began work on my next project—an ambitious undertaking with high literary merit. At the time, I was still working on my […]

Do You Really Have to Write What You Know?

Do You Really Have to Write What You Know?

One of the first things an amateur writer hears is the age-old adage, “Write what you know.” It’s a simple statement, suggested plainly, as if we have to take it at face value, but it’s an assertion that goes far beyond what we first take […]

100 Days to Write a Novel

100 Days to Write a Novel

A friend of mine has undertaken the task of writing a novel in 100 days. May I simply say, Bravo. I say this in a very complimentary way, but because she’s writing a daily blog about it, it reminds me a little of “Julie and […]

What I Look For as an Editor

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 […]

Interactive Fiction

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 […]