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Posts about “Micro Lesson”

Micro Lesson: Writing the Dead and Other Magical Inclinations by Michele Bombardier

Posted Fri, 1/17/2020 - 9:53am by  |  Category: , , ,

One of the best parts of being a poet is the outrageousness of it.  “Out here I can say anything” Larry Levis famously wrote, and we understand viscerally what he meant. On the page, we get to say anything, go…

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Micro-Lesson: Graphic Writing for Comic Characters by Greg Stump

Posted Tue, 1/14/2020 - 12:00pm by  |  Category: , , ,

When it comes to emphasizing, setting off, and differentiating bits of dialogue, cartoonists and comic artists have a wide range of graphic techniques at their disposal. Used in moderation, these approaches to visual writing can really add to your characters’…

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Micro Lesson: Writing From Nature by John Farnsworth

Posted Tue, 12/17/2019 - 9:22am by  |  Category: , , , , , ,

When people learn that I’m a nature writer, there’s a natural assumption that what I spend most of my time doing is writing about nature. While it would not be unkind or even inaccurate to characterize my work this way,…

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Micro-Lesson: Goal vs. Need by Jeff Bender

Posted Thu, 9/12/2019 - 9:45am by  |  Category: , , ,

There are a lot of names for these two ideas. Whatever we call them, they can shape some of our biggest decisions as storytellers. The Goal, or what Robert McKee (Story) calls the “conscious desire,” is the concrete and unconcealed…

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Writing Prompt: Affected Bodies, Trauma, and Non-Human Encounters by Janice Lee

Posted Thu, 8/01/2019 - 9:45am by  |  Category: , , , , ,

What really exists is not things made but things in the making. —William James How other kinds of beings see us matters. That other kinds of beings see us changes things. —Eduardo Kohn In my upcoming class, Memory Space: Inherited…

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Navigating to the Heart of the Story by Diana Xin

Posted Tue, 7/30/2019 - 9:45am by  |  Category: , ,

I just need to find the right way to write this.  This is the refrain that comes up sometimes when I open a new blank document for an old story I’ve tried to write about seven times over the course…

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Micro Lesson: A Short Meditation on the Glamorous Refusal of No! by Anastacia-Renée

Posted Fri, 7/12/2019 - 4:21pm by  |  Category: , , , , , ,

In the beginning of my writing career, it was a given that I’d say “Absolutely” or “Yes” to almost anything asked of me—oftentimes watching others reaping the benefits or, even worse, finding out that the heartfelt energy I’d put into…

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Micro Lesson: Dig Deep into Character by Stephanie Kuehnert

Posted Thu, 7/11/2019 - 5:25pm by  |  Category: , ,

Characters are the reason I write.  Their voices lodge themselves in my brain. They tug on my sleeve and insist that I tell their stories. The greatest compliment that I can get as a writer is that my characters stay…

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Micro Lesson: Detroit or Kansas? How to Hear the Voices Inside Your Head by Emily Warn and Nadia Imafidon

Posted Tue, 7/02/2019 - 9:44am by  |  Category: , ,

Emily’s take: When I say poem, it sounds like pome. I can easily mimic Frances McDormand when she says, “What’s in your BYAG, MA’AM?” (Fargo). My sharp “a’s” (grating to some) are sheep bya, byaing and not bah, bahing.  That’s…

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Micro Lesson: How to Write Yourself Home by Merna Ann Hecht

Posted Fri, 6/28/2019 - 9:43am by  |  Category: , , , ,

“To be an immigrant is to always live in some state of exile, even if its shadow seems to have grown faint inside us; you cannot forget your old homes, no matter how comfortingly familiar your new destination becomes, or…

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Micro-Lesson: Writing Travel by Carolyne Wright

Posted Thu, 6/27/2019 - 9:30am by  |  Category: , , ,

Elizabeth Bishop was the consummate American poet and writer of travel—born in Massachusetts, she was raised there and in Nova Scotia. As an adult she traveled extensively through France, Spain, Ireland, Italy, and North Africa, and she lived for fifteen…

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Micro Lesson: Researching and Writing True Crime by Rebecca Morris

Posted Tue, 5/14/2019 - 9:31am by  |  Category: , ,

Authors and their readers are drawn to reading true crime because, to be honest, sensationalism can make for a good book. My guiding principle comes from Agatha Christie, who said: “The crime is the end of the story.” True crime…

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Micro Lesson: Writing Short by Stephanie Hammer and Samantha Updegrave

Posted Tue, 4/30/2019 - 9:12am by  |  Category: , , ,

As MFA classmates, we had the fun and honor of learning how to write short forms with a master of both the prose poem and flash fiction: the speculative writer Bruce Holland Rogers. Bruce is famous for coming up with…

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The Difference Between Drama and Conflict (and Why You Need to Know It) by Eric McMillan

Posted Fri, 4/26/2019 - 9:32am by  |  Category: , , , ,

We’ve all struggled, at one point or another, to explain in conversation what, exactly, our stories are about. We hem and haw. “Well, you see…” And one of the reasons that we get in such a muddle is because sometimes…

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Micro Lesson: Back to the (Plastic) Well by Kevin O’Rourke

Posted Mon, 4/22/2019 - 10:00am by  |  Category: , , , , ,

Or: You Never Know When Research Will Prove Useful 1. Not all Navel-Gazing Is Bad A few weeks ago, I published a review of the electronic duo Matmos’s new album, Plastic Anniversary. At the risk of repeating myself, Plastic Anniversary—which…

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