On Writing

Writing: Killing Your Darlings

By Jon Simmonds Contributing Features Editor, of http://jumpingfromcliffs.com It seems barely a day goes past without someone somewhere posting about the “rules” of writing. Now, I’m not entirely sure that I agree with this; I feel there are far too many so-called rules imposed upon one of the most creative pursuits imaginable. Creativity doesn’t follow rules
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What Genre Do I Write?

So what genre would you assign to this book?  Oh, I know! It has to be about an exterminator named Ki’shto’ba who labors at destroying termite colonies by abducting their Queens! Right?! What genre is this? Hmm … hard to tell from the cover. In fact, I call it speculative literary science fiction, future history, psychological
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Writing a Persona Other than Your Own

Stephen Davenport debates the ethics of writing in first person using a narrator of a different race, gender, or age than the author, using his experience writing his second novel.

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On Fact and Fiction

“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.

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Your Characters: What’s in Their Pockets?

A writing teacher (and multi-published novelist) once told me that to really understand a character you’re writing, you should make a list of the items he carries carry in his pockets. While I hate to disagree with such an august mentor, I’m afraid that I simply have to. You see, if you take a peek
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On Writing: Letting Go of What’s Next

Nina Badzin questions whether there is a need for a singular “identity” in the life of a working writer.

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Writers’ Advice, Tips, and Theories

Here is a list of 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 a
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Richard Gilbert: Word by Word

Writing’s Values Challenge

“Writing’s Values—Intelligence, Sensitivity & Beauty—Challenge Me,” Richard Gilbert on the necessity of forgiving oneself in order to write.

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A Writing Retreat: More Than A Creative Writing Tune-Up

A few weeks ago, I had the equivalent of a writer’s meltdown until I made two conclusions, one of which involved meeting a certain person by the name Lise Weil. (You can read about it here).  After talking to her and learning about the writing retreat that she runs a few times a year, I decided
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Story-Telling’s 3 A’s: about, About, ABOUT

By Eduardo Suastegui of http://www.eduardosuastegui.com What is this story about? To write it, you have to know the answer to that question. It’s a simple question—deceptively so. But yeah, if you’re going to have any idea of what to write next, and if you’re going to write a semi-coherent story summary blurb, you have to know what
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The Minefield and the Soul

"I do believe an author’s biographical identity is an insufficient marker for experience—even impossible to pin down with any accuracy—and the same holds true for a reader’s. This is the beginning of compassion for others."

On Fact and Fiction

"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.