On Writing

A Lesson in Odes

by Laura Shovan [dropcap]O[/dropcap]des are all about tone. Show enough enthusiasm for even a simple object like a shoe, and a poet can convince the reader of the object’s value, that it’s worthy of attention. That is what Chilean poet Pablo Neruda did with his Odes to Common Things, a book which still influences poets
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Review: Annie Dillard’s Living By Fiction

Richard Gilbert reviews and appreciates Living by Fiction, the 1982 exploration of the art of writing by Annie Dillard.

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Novel Writing: Enrichment of Real Research

By Mark Fine of http://finewrites.blogspot.com/p/main-page.html In writing and researching my historical novel The Zebra Affaire, I had the privilege of viewing many wild creatures in their natural habitats. Being in the bush, tracking game (with camera, and not firearm) is not a bookish, academic pursuit. The composite of the senses are vital to telling your story: the wretched
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A Writer Learns From Wyeth

Painter Andrew Wyeth’s views on art could hold valuable insights for writers on creating and developing stories.

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Who are the Southern Authors of the New Millennium?

SFK Press Editor Steve McCondichie provides an overview of contemporary Southern authors and the growing global inclusion in contemporary Southern literature.

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The Four D’s: Part 3 – Depth of Character

A Special Feature Series: See Part 1 and Part 2. Writing craft books and writing teachers will tell you that readers read for character. Indeed, the cornerstone of literary fiction is the complex character study. At a minimum, even the most surface-dwelling, plot-driven genre novel needs engaging characters to carry the story. These characters are
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Shaking Hands with My Characters: The Physicality of Writing

I hear a voice in my head. She begins speaking when I’m walking, taking a shower, or trying to sleep. She starts to tell me her story. I sit at the computer screen and hope to capture the story, but nothing happens. I’m not blocked exactly. It’s just that she doesn’t want to speak through
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Fictional Characters and Autobiography Part 2

Five Approaches to Revising Character

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Collected Writing Tips & Advice

Here is a list of many essays, articles, quotes, and links on writing advice, tips, theory, and thought. (from 23 Tips from Famous Writers) “Let the writer take up surgery or bricklaying if he is interested in technique. There is no mechanical way to get the writing done, no shortcut. The young writer would be
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Part II: That, Which and Who

In my last post, “The Department of Redundancy Department,” I discussed how I use the Find feature of Microsoft Word to hunt down and eliminate redundant redundancies from my manuscripts as I go through the final edit. I also mentioned how I’ll use Find to ferret out those pesky to be verbs and get rid of as many of those as
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On Art and Fact

"We don’t have to bullfight to write believably about bullfighting, or love, or crime, or suicide." DeWitt Henry on the lines writers blur between fact and fiction.


Beth Kephart learns "the liability of having, the politics of possession, the sound of time crashing time, the ache of what is loved and what will be lost."

Words That Don’t Exist

DeWitt Henry on the challenge of balancing author tone with character tone, and the difficulties that arise as far down as word choice.

WTP Writer: John Skoyles

John Skoyles writes between genres, from poetry to prose to nonfiction. He talks his most recent publication The Nut File, excerpted in WTP.

A Writer Learns From Wyeth

Painter Andrew Wyeth's views on art could hold valuable insights for writers on creating and developing stories.

Punctuation & My Pig Tale

Contributing editor Richard Gilbert laments over the New York Times's use of capitalization after a colon.