Overcome by Today’s News

While taking my son to a doctor’s appointment this afternoon, I walked into the waiting room to find a crowd standing around the television, their voices silent. Someone had set off two bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. My heart is with the families and victims of this tragedy.  I pray forContinue reading “Overcome by Today’s News”

Narrator No-No

In the many years of writing fiction, I have discovered about twenty ways to narrate a story, most of them huge mistakes for the flow of the story I am trying to tell.  Since landing an agent, I found out that there are also some narrator types or mistakes that are off-putting to modern readersContinue reading “Narrator No-No”

The Necessity of Kinesics

K is for kinesics, which in the study of linguistics means the analysis of how body movements can communicate meaning.  As a writer this is something that we must learn how to use as well as we use dialogue to communicate characterization, mood and tone. I have read plenty of writing where the writer has graspedContinue reading “The Necessity of Kinesics”

Hamartia and the Modern Reader

An article written in 2008 by Lionel Shriver entitled “Missing the Mark” still rings true today.  Even though the article is largely about the dissappearance of quotation marks in dialogue, Shriver points out that the reason that the creation of new literary works are on the decline in the United States is simply because theContinue reading “Hamartia and the Modern Reader”

Teaching Students to Be Wolves

Today is the first day of teaching the research paper and I must say I am completely hoarse.  All of my classes are working on one in some form or other, and I am doing my best to make the process as easy as possible for them to understand.  The thing is, it shouldn’t beContinue reading “Teaching Students to Be Wolves”

New Podcast Is Up

Episode 5 – The Terror of the Blank Page The new podcast is up for your listening enjoyment.  In this episode, Roger expands on his post about “The Terror of the Blank Page”, discussing some practical things writers can do to maximize their time in front of the computer screen.  Also, we discuss some ofContinue reading “New Podcast Is Up”

Writing a Memoir that No One Will Read

Today I read an article by Theo Pauline Nestor answering the question “Why Writing a Memoir Might Actually Make You Happier“, and found myself agreeing with her completely.  However, writing a memoir is something that is done by most as a hobby and is usually never intended to be read by millions. I have writtenContinue reading “Writing a Memoir that No One Will Read”

Washington Irving On Writing

This week my students are reading “The Devil and Tom Walker” by Washington Irving, a hilariously satirical story about a Scrooge of a man who becomes a loan shark for the Devil only to lose his soul in the process.  In preparation for our study of Irving, I noted some quotes by the author thatContinue reading “Washington Irving On Writing”

Vanity vs. Self-Publishing: Is There a Difference?

There is definitely a stigma about using a “vanity press” or a publishing house that charges big bucks (usually) to publish a book that an author has written.  For years, a “vanity press” has been seen by industry leaders as a press that will publish anyone at all who has enough money, particularly people whoContinue reading “Vanity vs. Self-Publishing: Is There a Difference?”