>

Exploring the art of fiction

Menu

CRAFT ESSAYS, ELEMENTS, and TALKS

If You Can Name It, You Can Fix It: A Craft Glossary

July 16, 2019

  By Jody Hobbs Hesler • “It seems like you don’t really care about your main character,” someone once told me in a workshop. Maybe they sensed an underlying issue with the character’s authenticity? A nebulous not-rightness about the prose?…

Read More

Hybrid Interview: Ariel Gore

July 9, 2019

  Essay by Melissa Benton Barker • In this cultural moment when bodies and embodied experiences that resist conforming to the cisgender, heterosexual male norm are increasingly marginalized and criminalized, Ariel Gore’s We Were Witches, feminist novel and anti-shame manifesto,…

Read More

Telling Time: Fiction As Clockmaking

June 18, 2019

  By Alix Ohlin • A few years back, in New York, I sat through four hours of Christian Marclay’s 2010 video art work “The Clock.” This was actually the third time I’d seen it, but I still went in…

Read More

The Diarist: Kathryn Scanlan’s AUG 9—FOG

June 11, 2019

  By J.A. Tyler • Other people’s diaries. Strangers. Their words inked across aged paper. Where did it come from? How did it get here? Who owned it, who read it? Hunt on eBay and one could be headed your…

Read More

The Uncanny: Joanna Pearson’s EVERY HUMAN LOVE

May 14, 2019

  By Nick Fuller Googins • Snooping through my father’s desk at age twelve, I discovered a bundle of papers related to our very old house. Within this bundle was a photocopy of a newspaper article from the 1800s, which…

Read More

What’s in a Name? Only Everything

May 7, 2019

  By Aaron Hamburger • One of the most vexing tasks fiction writers face is naming their characters. Over the years, I’ve heard of writers searching for names in baby books, phone books (back when people had phone books), and…

Read More

A Closer Look: MEANDER, SPIRAL, EXPLODE

April 23, 2019

  I hope…that thinking about patterns other than the arc will become natural, that evolving writers won’t feel oppressed by the arc, that they’ll imagine visual aspects of narrative as well as temporal, that they’ll discover ways to design, being…

Read More

Myth Made New: Madeline Miller’s CIRCE

April 16, 2019

  By Tim Weed • Like her debut, The Song of Achilles, Madeline Miller’s Circe offers readers a fresh and defamiliarized retelling of classical Greek mythology. It’s a retelling informed by the author’s thorough knowledge of the subject and energized…

Read More

Joke-Telling in Lorrie Moore’s “You’re Ugly, Too”

March 19, 2019

  By Kate Kaplan • People tell jokes to attract attention or deflect it, to express a point of view, to connect, to offend, or in the hope of shared laughter. Some people (disclosure: me) tell jokes to themselves, rehearsing…

Read More

Theatre Novel: Joseph Scapellato’s THE MADE-UP MAN

March 12, 2019

  By Mike Corrao •  Joseph Scapellato’s The Made-Up Man, released in February by FSG, centers on the protagonist, Stanley’s participation in an exploitative performance piece coordinated by his wealthy Czech-based uncle. Invited to apartment-sit in Prague, Stanley bears witness…

Read More