Tag: Craft of Fiction

Language of Fiction

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, 

The First of Two Constants in 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 

Making Prose Sing

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 

How “LOST” Blew the Ending, or “A Beautiful Mess”

How “LOST” Blew the Ending, or “A Beautiful Mess”

Over a decade ago, I sat in an Intermediate Fiction Creative Writing class at California State University of San Bernardino. My professor was critiquing one of my strongest stories I’d written to that point (at least, that’s how I felt about it). He was staring 

The Habit of Art

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 

Everything I need to Know About Writing, I Learned from Disneyland

Everything I need to Know About Writing, I Learned from Disneyland

Recently, we made a painful decision to part with a close family member: satellite television service. The good news is that we haven’t missed it. Instead, we reallocated our funds, partially, to season passes to Disneyland. There are several reasons why we chose to do 

Stillness

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 

“The Impossibility of Fiction”, or “The Necessary Contradiction”

“The Impossibility of Fiction”, or “The Necessary Contradiction”

Some time after Flannery O’Connor’s death, her friends, Sally and Robert Fitzgerald, compiled several of Flannery’s essays and speeches on writing in a book called Mystery and Manners. If you’ve not read it, you can get it here. If you’re serious about the art of 

Back from Alrujah

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 

Twit-Fic

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