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CRAFT ARTICLES and ESSAYS

The Hook: More Than The Opening Line

By Guest Author | August 17, 2018

By Tommy Dean Think about your favorite verbal storytellers, those people in your family who have passed down the history of the joys and tragedies, the small coincidences, and the shared DNA that results in a similar nose, an ornery…

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Object Lessons: An Exploration

By Guest Author | August 13, 2018

By Laura van den Berg This summer, I spent five weeks at an artists’ residency in Italy, where I had the good fortune of crossing paths with a Swedish composer-performer and visual artist named Charlotte Hug. Known for her musical-visual…

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A Closer Look: ORCHID & THE WASP, Caoilinn Hughes

By CRAFT | August 3, 2018

In Orchid & the Wasp, Caoilinn Hughes has created a singular character in Gael Foess. From the opening pages, set in Ireland in 2002 when Gael is only 11, to the conclusion, when 20-year-old Gael is back in Dublin in…

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Toward Inspiration as Craft

By Guest Author | July 25, 2018

By Mercedes Lucero Until recently, I had a very clear notion of what craft meant. It meant technique. Literary devices. Structure. Figurative language. Setting. Point of view. In short, it meant what happens on the page. It meant careful construction.…

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Realistic Absurdity in DeLillo’s WHITE NOISE

By Guest Author | July 16, 2018

By Christina Ward-Niven There is so much to admire, craft-wise, in Don DeLillo’s classic novel White Noise: compelling, empathetic characterization; sharp dialogue; handling of theme through plot and subtext; a tone that consistently weaves wryness with heart. In this essay,…

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Multiple Storylines

By CRAFT | June 27, 2018

Novels almost always include multiple storylines. But when it comes to short stories, whether it’s due to the brevity of space, or the intense focus on the primary storyline, we often see stories that only travel one path. This tendency…

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Interiority Complex

By Guest Author | June 20, 2018

by Rebecca Makkai It’s hard enough to make our characters act, make them do and say interesting things. You know what’s harder? Well, lots of stuff. Coal mining, for one. Come on, writing is a pretty cushy job. But here’s…

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Character’s Imagination

By CRAFT | June 18, 2018

Exploring the imagination of a character is a wonderful way to allow the reader insight into the way a character thinks and behaves. How characters behave with others—their actions and their words—can move a story forward and, of course, are…

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A Closer Look: RESTLESS SOULS, Dan Sheehan

By CRAFT | June 7, 2018

A novel that follows a trio of childhood friends from Dublin to northern California, Dan Sheehan’s debut novel, Restless Souls, nicely investigates male friendship as well as the impact of trauma. Strong first-person voices provide a narrative that flows easily, with…

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What is a Short Story?

By CRAFT | May 24, 2018

For Short Story Month, we asked: What, exactly, is a short story? How is different from the novel? How can a definition help you to construct a piece, help you to decide whether your fiction is short or long? We’ve…

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