>

Exploring the art of fiction

Menu

Tag: CRAFT Elements

Multiple Storylines

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…

Read More


Character’s Imagination

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…

Read More


Best Intentions

What is an intention? We know it, mostly, as an aim or a plan. When you begin to write a short story or a novel, you have a general sense of something that’s guiding you forward. It might be a…

Read More


What Makes a Collection?

You’ve amassed some stories. Maybe you have enough for a collection, maybe you’re still a few shy. It’s not an obvious grouping of stories: there are no common characters or recurring places or a clear theme. How do you organize…

Read More


Obsessions

Obsessions lie at the heart of most of the things we do well. And figuring out what your obsessions are in writing may well be the key to figuring out that next short story or novel. Poet Natalie Diaz talks…

Read More


Character Research

When it comes to doing research for a novel or story, the resources are endless. We typically turn first to non-fiction sources, writers documenting the history of the time. Often, though, these accounts are written after-the-fact as the historian makes…

Read More


Switching Tenses

Most writers, it seems, prefer one tense over another. Many of us use the past tense as our default, as it allows for foreshadowing, and, conversely, it allows reflection from the present “telling” moment.  We’re telling a story of which…

Read More


Map Research

I will confess: I like maps. I like understanding where I’ve been, where I am, and where I’m going. And I love Google and/or Apple Maps. The satellite view, the street view, directions, walking distance, the whole thing. I can…

Read More


CRAFT Aphorisms

  Fiction should connect the writer to the reader. Fiction should not be written with a reader in mind. Fiction can be written as though writing a letter to a friend. Fiction should use language in a way that pleases…

Read More


Mixtapes

I have heard more than one writer say that they have created mixtapes while they were working on a story or novel and listening to that music, and that music alone, while they were writing was hugely helpful. If you’re…

Read More