The Craft of Fiction

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….

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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….

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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,…

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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…

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Back from Alrujah

You may have noticed the significant lack of updates recently. I have a very good excuse. I was magically transported into a video game. A role playing game, to be precise. If you’re wondering which one, don’t. You’re not familiar with it. You’ve never even heard of it. In fact,…

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Twit-Fic

…and the small gets smaller. I resisted Twitter for the usual reasons. Honestly, I’m still a little surprised that people are so inherently narcissistic (present company included) that they’d actually believe other people would care what they ate for lunch, or some other such silly nonsense. But then, I thought,…

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Hint Fiction

Just got back from reading an interesting article about a somewhat “new” fiction fad: Hint Fiction. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, Hint Fiction refers to any story of twenty-five words or less. Of course, in the article, the debate centers on whether or not these are actually “stories.” While…

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