Story Intro?

She was beautiful in all the conventional ways.  Striking blue eyes.  Blond hair.  That smile.  But only the silly (well, the silly and the young), fall in love just based on looks.

Ah, Love.

She held her pen, all business, the angle of her body the perfect balance between assertive and indifferent, the tilt of her head offering also the possibility of amusement, however slight.

“So, what makes you think you’d be a good fit for our firm?” she asked.

“Oh, I don’t know,” he offered.  “I tend to find that I’m a good fit just about everywhere I go.”


Writing What You Want

I read yesterday, and have read several places recently, that one of the key universal characteristics of a good and happy author is that they never write anything they don’t want to.  This might seem obvious, even to the point of being silly, but I still like it.  In a sense, I write for work, and some of that is admittedly not the most riveting.  But in my extra-curricular efforts, I sometimes do get bogged down writing the story I feel I should write or a story that I think others would like.  Bollocks!  What is the point in that?  I think it was Gillian Flynn who said that she wrote the books she wished existed but no one else had written.  Maybe it was Ann Patchett.  Or someone else entirely.  But I like the concept.  I’m going to do that too.  Watch out!


One Word at a Time

If you have ever thought seriously about writing a book, it is hard not to become quickly overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of the task.  I am not telling you anything you don’t know here, and not judging, at all.  I share this truth because I have been there.  But if you let your book stop there, inertia wins, and your book never gets written.  I have decided to come at the process from the opposite direction, not picturing the work as a whole, but realizing that a book is made out of chapters, each chapter made out of paragraphs, each paragraph made out of sentences, each sentence made out of words.  I’m going to start with the words.

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How Literature Saved My Life

how literature

Have you heard about the new non-fiction?  It’s all the rage.  There are a couple different names for it: collage writing, I think is one of them.  It sort of defies categorization, or is too new to have a definitive label, but David Shield’s How Literature Saved My Life both talks about it and is an example of it. Continue reading

On Sarcasm in Writing

In a recent conversation, in response to my statement that “there is something really great about sarcasm.  For me, there is no such thing as ‘too sarcastic’ writing,” I was asked “Have you read any George Saunders?”  And the funny thing is, that I had (though I did not then know it) (because, you see, though I never forget a face, as I may have mentioned here previously, I rarely remember a name; that’s just the way my mind works; or rather, doesn’t) (more on that in a little bit).