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.
Writing Tips Articles
In Three Tips for Creating Good Dialogue I mention the technique of imagining what other art form your story could be in order for you to get a sense of the proportion of dialogue to narration. As an example here I suggest that Jane Austen novels are minuets, unhurried, elegant,... read more
Note: I wrote this blog after reading Lawrence Wright’s Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief. Vintage Book, Random House, 2013. The HBO documentary Going Clear was aired in April, 2015. “Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string. Accept the place the divine providence has found... read more
On Christmas Day 2014 I listened to an interview Diane Rehm had with Margaret Atwood about her new story collection Stone Mattress: Nine Tales. Note: The original NPR airdate was November 10, 2014. During the interview Atwood read the opening pages from the title story first published in The New... read more
Science fiction, fantasy, and historical novels bring to life worlds unknown to the reader. Science fiction and fantasy novels invent ones that never existed or don’t yet exist, while historical novels invoke ones that once existed. The standard definition of the most recent temporal limit of a historical at any... read more