A Writer’s Notebook: writers talk writing

Today I’m offering three conversations about writing I’ve had with three different writer friends. The exchanges are a bit long, so I’ve divided this post into pages to help organize things. Check out the “table of contents” to skip to the section you’re interested in (but really, you want to read the whole thing). WhyContinue reading “A Writer’s Notebook: writers talk writing”

Another post from How Not To Write

I’m in the midst of some frustrating revision right now–two stories giving me headaches and another taunting me from the shadows, though I did pull off a long but good revision of a novel excerpt last week–so this new post from Jamie Grove on revision hell is well timed.  Wonder if Jamie actually saw myContinue reading “Another post from How Not To Write”

Writing the year away: My year in words and numbers

This year has been the first full calendar year that I’ve spent focused exclusively on writing. I’ve actually been doing this since summer 2009, and though I’ll still be exclusively writing in spring 2011, I’m anxious to get back into the classroom (I miss students and the intellectual discourse of academia!). But in terms ofContinue reading “Writing the year away: My year in words and numbers”

Quantity vs. Quality: the purpose of NaNoWriMo

Recently, I got an e-mail from my dad in which he asked a question about the NaNoWriMo word counts. “Didn’t want to ‘disrespect’ your writing thing,” he wrote, “but do want to know….. what’s the point of how many words? In my way of thinking the objective is to get across the point or storyContinue reading “Quantity vs. Quality: the purpose of NaNoWriMo”

A Writer’s Notebook: Revision checklist

Today’s exercise is going to be short and relatively uncreative. I’m polishing up a story collection I recently finished, and while most of the stories are published, finished, or well on their way, one is still very much an ugly draft, so I’ve decided to go over that weakest story and do some broad revision.Continue reading “A Writer’s Notebook: Revision checklist”

10 tips on writing from the Chronicle of Higher Ed

One of my professors from graduate school posted on her Facebook a link to an article, “10 Tips on How to Write Less Badly,” in the Chronicle of Higher Education.  It’s a strange title, partly because the URL truncates the title to read “10-Tips-on-How-to-Write-Less,” which is precisely the opposite of this article’s purpose:  The tipsContinue reading “10 tips on writing from the Chronicle of Higher Ed”

How to know when the writing is done

I started writing about good writing yesterday simply because it was on my mind — I’m neck-deep in three different stories right now, with two more on the sidelines, as I try to finish a story collection. But as soon as I posted it, I started thinking of a related discussion: How to know whenContinue reading “How to know when the writing is done”

How to know when the writing is good (or good enough)

When I was in grad school working on my doctorate, I took a class on the form and theory of poetry, with poet Bruce Bond. It was a fascinating course that taught me a lot, not only about poetry but also about my own approach to fiction. Bond has a way of asking provocative questionsContinue reading “How to know when the writing is good (or good enough)”

A Writer’s Notebook: Collaborative fiction

My friend Ryan Werner and I are involved in a work of collaborative fiction, the old Round Robin exercise.  I’ll describe the general rules and what we’re up to below, but you probably already know something about this sort of exercise as it is.  It’s been my turn to contribute for longer than I canContinue reading “A Writer’s Notebook: Collaborative fiction”