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Exploring the art of prose

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Author: CRAFT

Conflict in Dialogue

The word “conflict” is from the Latin verb confligere: con, together; and fligere, to strike. Many writers seem to be at home with the idea of togetherness: we usually create multiple characters in our fiction; we write stories with more…

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THE MAKING OF A STORY, Alice LaPlante

The Making of a Story, Alice LaPlante W.W. Norton, 2007 At a whopping 642 pages, LaPlante’s craft book is extremely comprehensive. Each of the fourteen chapters includes well-developed essays on elements of craft, exercises, and readings. The chapters cover plot,…

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Book Review: DADDY ISSUES by Alex McElroy

Alex McElroy’s chapbook, Daddy Issues, consists of seven short fiction pieces, and each story tackles the role that boys and men play in their families and in the world, paying particular attention to the relationship between fathers and sons. By…

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Book Review: WHAT WE LOSE by Zinzi Clemmons

Much of What We Lose, an innovative and engaging debut novel by Zinzi Clemmons, is about being stuck in the in-between. The protagonist, Thandi, is of mixed-race, with an American father and a South African mother. Although Thandi is brought…

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Interview: Aimee Bender

Who do you like to read? Who are your influences? There are many—and I do love the magical realists: García Márquez, Cortázar, Borges, Leonora Carrington (more of a surrealist), Calvino, Barthelme, Murakami, if you’d call him that. Kelly Link. Then…

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Interview: Steve Almond

Your stories make great use of traditional narrative structure. By this I mean: a strong tension builds until they reach a climax. A few stories from God Bless America—the title story; “Donkey Greedy, Donkey Gets Punched”; “A Jew Berserk on…

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Interview: Arna Bontemps Hemenway

Although the stories in your debut collection Elegy on Kinderklavier focus on war and the shadow it casts on the individuals involved and their families, you certainly don’t stick to one writing style or category. “The IED,” my favorite piece…

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