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A Thousand Word Picture Challenge

A Thousand Word Picture Challenge

Another confession: Once, when I was in a Creative Writing class in college during my undergraduate, I turned in a story. This, in itself, was not altogether bad. The writing of said story, however, was. At one point I’d written something to the effect of, […]

The Sampler Platter: Compound-Complex and Run-On Sentences

The Sampler Platter: Compound-Complex and Run-On Sentences

We’ve all been there—frozen by indecision: Character or conflict, voice or setting? They all look so good! Some writers just can’t choose, and decide that a little of each may be the best course of action. The result is long, sometimes unwieldy sentences which stretch […]

What You Do When You Say It: Dialogue and Action

What You Do When You Say It: Dialogue and Action

Another method of beginning a novel is to start with dialogue, but of the best 100 lines, only three contained dialogue. So, while it is popular to suggest, it may not be as practical. But why not? Perhaps because it’s so easy to begin with […]

Jello to the Wall: Nailing Voice

Jello to the Wall: Nailing Voice

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 fifth of seven different techniques for creating compelling first lines. By my […]

Making the Stage: Setting and Tone

Making the Stage: Setting and Tone

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 fourthof seven different techniques for creating compelling first lines. The advice we […]

Beg Your Pardon? The Unexpected First Line

Beg Your Pardon? The Unexpected 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 third of seven different techniques for creating compelling first lines. Admittedly, this […]

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 […]