From Shakespeare: Metaphor It is the east, and Juliet is the sun. Simile O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright! Her beauty hangs upon the cheek of night, Like a rich jewel in an Ethiop’s ear.
Writing Tips Articles
Note: This blog is a follow up to Size Matters and How Big Is Your Canvas? where I discuss in general terms imagining one’s story in terms of a painting. I can tell a writer is new to novel writing when I encounter a mismatch between the size of the story... read more
This is the sequel to English Settings I: Britishisms and English Settings II: British Slang. I’ll start where I started twice before: So you’re an American novelist and you’ve chosen to set your story in England. That’s great. But now here’s your problem: English. Namely, American English. It’s one thing... read more
This is a sequel to English Settings I: Britishisms. I’ll start where I started before: So you’re an American novelist and you’ve chosen to set your story in England. That’s great. But now here’s your problem: English. In my earlier blog I said that British slang was a category unto... read more
So you’re an American novelist and you’ve decided to set your story in England. That’s great. But now here’s your problem: English. If your story is set in France it’s perfectly legit for your characters not to speak French if they happen to be, say, American. If your setting is... read more
As all writers know at this point, the great changes in the publishing industry in the past 10 – 15 years have made it possible for authors, like artists in the music world, to become their own producers.
This semester for the first time ever I am in charge of a novel course/workshop at Duke University. There are 9 students. We meet once a week for 2 ½ hours. Every week 3 students submit 20 pages of material, and each one gets 50 minutes of everyone’s undivided attention.... read more
Note: For more on this topic, see my previous blog post on Plot and Character Development where I state: “For me plot and character develop together, just as bone and muscle emerge together in the developing fetus.” To illustrate the points in this blog’s title I’ll use The Alpha’s Edge,... read more
Last week I was on the phone with an editor discussing my short story The Alpha’s Edge. She told me that when she hears a novelist say, “I want to write a short story” – mostly for the purpose of getting more material out into the marketplace quickly – she... read more
Beloved children’s book author Roald Dahl offers a checklist of qualities anyone wanting to make a living out of writing fiction must have. It’s found in a short piece called Lucky Break appearing at the end of The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More.