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Conflict in Dialogue

September 15, 2017

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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Novel Structure: Multiple Points-of-View

September 13, 2017

In The Gypsy Moth Summer, Julia Fierro uses six different narrators to tell us the story of the inhabitants of a small island in New York during the summer of 1992. The novel is broken into five parts, with a…

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THE MAKING OF A STORY, Alice LaPlante

September 13, 2017

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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Favorite First Sentence: THAT NIGHT, Alice McDermott

September 5, 2017

Favorite First Sentence: That Night, Alice McDermott That night when he came to claim her, he stood on the short lawn before her house, his knees bent, his fists driven into his thighs, and bellowed her name with such passion…

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Book Review: DADDY ISSUES by Alex McElroy

September 1, 2017

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

September 1, 2017

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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