So, I’ve finished a wholesale revision and final(ish) edit on my Civil War novel, the first draft of which started me on my whole “Researching for fiction” series a couple of years ago. And in the process of working over that text, I came across another aspect of research I’ve long been aware of but … More Research tip #7: Check the map
Oh, if only this weren’t a joke….
I began my love affair with Southern fiction, as most of us do, with Faulkner, but I didn’t get serious about studying the genre until I started reading Tom Franklin. His then-distinctive blend of gritty blue-collar stories set in a modern but familiar American South, a style of writing Franklin likes to call “Industrial Gothic,” … More 11-11: Southern fiction (Christopher Cook)
This is a fairly old-school, simple exercise, but it’s one I keep returning to again and again. But as usual, more on that below. I’ve never seen the skies in other vast states, like, say, Wyoming or Montana, but I’ve seen skies in California, skies in New York, skies in Wisconsin and Florida. And it … More A Writer’s Notebook: The great outdoors
We writers and academics love to ask each other what books we’d want with us if ever we’re stranded on a desert island, and we love offering clever, literary answers: Jane Austen, Cormac McCarthy, the Oxford English Dictionary, the Dhammapada. But we’re lying to ourselves. … More The good times are killing me
It’s been a long time coming. When I first heard Cormac McCarthy‘s brilliant novel The Road was being developed as a film, I noted the release date on my mental calendar and held my breath. That was back in early 2008. When the movie finally did get released more than a year and a half … More The Road
Irish lit scholars, please don’t curse me for this. Because today is St. Paddy’s day, I thought I’d list — in no particular order and with deepest respect for anyone I’ve left off (and there will be a lot of those) — a few writers I have read and enjoyed who hail from the Emerald … More “Anybody can make history; only a great man can write it.”
For more on researching for fiction, go to the main research page. So now you have all your research done and you’re ready to get back to the writing. But you’re writing fiction here, not a research paper — so how do you use this research you’ve done? Sometimes the answer is easy: You were … More Research tip #6: Marbling
A long time ago, when I was a nerd in high school, I hung out with a bunch of other nerds in high school and we played role playing games. You know the bit Mike Myers did on his 2001 appearance on Inside the Actors Studio, with one eye crossed and speaking in a lisp as … More It was a dark and stormy writer’s block….
Still working on the Texas writers list, though it’s looking more and more impossible. Where do I put an author like Katherine Anne Porter, for instance? She was born in South Texas, lived a long time in Central Texas, and one of the major writing contests that bear her name is headquartered in North Texas. … More Bleeding regions; plus, NaNoWriMo and happy holidays!