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On Ending Polyphonic Novels

November 29, 2017

On Ending Polyphonic Novels by Rachel King I write multivoiced fiction, a technique also known as writing polyphonically, from the musical technique polyphony, where two or more melodies are played at once. However, in writing, unlike in music, different voices…

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Crafting Suspense

November 27, 2017

On Crafting Suspense: Keep the Bodies Hidden By Dustin Heron Suspense is an important element of fiction—and not just for stories where things go bump in the night. Suspense is “the feeling of excited or anxious uncertainty about what might…

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Object Lesson

November 20, 2017

So often in crafting fiction we think about character, plot, and setting. But thinking about specific objects and placing those objects in our fiction can be a great way in to a character and even a plot point. An object…

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Surprise!

November 13, 2017

It’s such a simple idea, really—as good ideas usually are—that surprise is a key element in our work as writers. But somehow, I hadn’t grabbed onto that idea until I took a workshop with Bret Anthony Johnston who believes wholeheartedly…

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THE ART OF HISTORY, Christopher Bram

November 9, 2017

The Art of History, Christopher Bram Graywolf Press, 2016 A recent addition to Graywolf’s wonderful “Art of…” series of books, The Art of History is a terrific resource for any writer. Although writers of historical fiction may be the primary…

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Mapping The Setting

November 6, 2017

We are often as familiar with the settings in our fiction as we are with our own homes and towns. We know in which drawer Ariel keeps her revolver; we know how how long it takes to get to the…

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Favorite Opening: “North Of,” Marie-Helene Bertino

November 2, 2017

Favorite Opening: “North Of,” Marie-Helene Bertino There are American flags on school windows, on cars, on porch swings. It is the year I bring Bob Dylan home for Thanksgiving. We park in front of my mom’s house—my mom, who has…

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Withholding Information

October 30, 2017

Has this happened to you? You have a good idea for an ending of a short story. You figure out the plot twist that will bring together the various narrative threads. You think of that “aha” moment that will crystallize…

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Book Review: RAGGED; OR, THE LOVELIEST LIES OF ALL

October 24, 2017

Ragged; or, The Loveliest Lies of All, by Christopher Irvin Reviewed by Nick Fuller Googins For those who tire of life in the Anthropocene, with near-daily headlines reminding us of the many ways our species continues destroying vibrant swaths of…

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Same Style, Different Content

October 23, 2017

Borrowing a craft element from another writer can be a great way to kickstart a new project, or re-energize an existing one. There are many ways to do this, of course, but here we want to focus on borrowing the…

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