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Posts about “Writing Advice”

The Great Divide: An Exclusive Q&A with Jayne Anne Phillips, Mira Jacob, and Ruth Joffre

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

On September 27, Jayne Anne Phillips, Mira Jacob, and Ruth Joffre will start off the 2019–20 Hugo Literary Series with new works on the theme of “The Great Divide.” In a recent email exchange, Jayne Anne, Mira, and Ruth revealed…

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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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What Can We Learn from Harry Potter? by Karen Finneyfrock

Posted Tue, 9/10/2019 - 9:41am by  |  Category: , , ,

It was July 2007 and I was in line outside the bookstore at quarter to midnight. I was in Maryland and the mosquitos were still biting and the heat of the day clung to the sidewalk. I was only a…

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Lyric Essay 101 by Jessica Mooney

Posted Tue, 9/03/2019 - 9:34am by  |  Category: , , ,

Don’t know what a lyric essay is? Not sure if you’re even intending to write one? Don’t worry! My class, Structuring the Lyric Essay, will explore the lyric essay as a form that can be used to help inspire your…

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Titles That Don’t Let You Go by Susanne Paola Antonetta

Posted Tue, 8/20/2019 - 9:45am by  |  Category: , , , ,

Writing a title for a flash fiction or nonfiction piece is like dipping your oar into the roaring water while whitewater rafting. That oar stroke had better do some major work. The flash title is the oar that steers your little…

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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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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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What’s Your Romance Voice & Style? by Eilis Flynn

Posted Tue, 7/09/2019 - 9:34am by  |  Category: , ,

Have you ever picked up a book—a romance, one that the blurb promises to be a story that’s right up your alley—and found that it just doesn’t do it for you?  The story, the theme, even the author, they all…

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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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How Writing My Story Helped Me Heal by Ingrid Ricks

Posted Tue, 5/28/2019 - 9:56am by  |  Category: , , , ,

It was my own struggle with the pain from my childhood—followed by my ultimate decision to write my story—that made me understand the life-changing power of personal narrative. I’d tried to write Hippie Boy for more than a decade. But…

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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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Setting Foot in Strange Worlds: An Exclusive Q&A with Domingo Martinez, Terese Marie Mailhot, and Margaret Malone

Posted Thu, 5/09/2019 - 9:50am by  |  Category: , ,

On Friday, May 24, Domingo Martinez, Terese Marie Mailhot, and Margaret Malone will channel their inner strangers. In a recent email exchange, each offered up a hint of what they’re writing for the Lit Series; a look into the superpower…

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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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Seven Keys to Unlocking Your Story by Jennifer Haupt

Posted Tue, 4/23/2019 - 10:05am by  |  Category: , , , ,

Whether you’re just dipping a toe into the waters of your story (fiction or memoir) or you’re stuck rowing around in circles, there are seven basic steps for integrating character development, plot, and structure that will enable you to navigate…

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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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