What is Your Writing Process? Writing in Order

Many fiction authors seem to have a preference in writing a novel; they either must write the book in order from beginning to end, or they must follow their muse where it leads them, writing ahead as needed. It appears there is consensus among novelists for a beginning-to-end approach, however. That would be consistent with …

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A Survivor’s Guide to AWP

It's one of the largest annual gatherings of creative writers, publishers, and educators in the United States--usually well in excess of 10,000 attendees--and the largest such event for literary writers. Once again I'll be attending the AWP Conference & Bookfair, the Association of Writers and Writing Programs' annual extravaganza. This year the hordes will be …

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Lit Journal Hunger Mountain Publishes Excerpt of Committed

So that headline says it all, right? I'm very honored that the esteemed literary journal Hunger Mountain has published an excerpt of Committed: A Memoir of the Artist's Road. Best of all, it's free online, so click away! The excerpt is one of several excellent creative works in a special "Mentors & Tormentors" issue. Those who have already read Committed will understand …

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Using Extended Metaphors in Your Writing — Part Three

Welcome to my final post on crafting an extended metaphor that runs the length of your creative writing. These lessons apply for fiction as well as nonfiction, but for the purposes of this series I've focused on examples from my recently published memoir, Committed: A Memoir of the Artist's Road. In Part One of this series …

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Using Extended Metaphors in Your Writing — Part Two

Extended metaphors in prose resonate with the reader, even if she isn't sure what it is the author has done to trigger that resonance. In Part One of this series I explained that making use of a recurring metaphor advances both plot and character development. We looked at how to identify a key theme that needs …

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An Author Interview on Creative Inspiration and the Writing Craft

I'm honored to have been interviewed by memoir author Kathleen Pooler on her excellent website/blog, Memoir Writer's Journey. I guess I got a bit carried away in my answers to her questions, because she's having to break up the interview into two parts. The first--a discussion of creative insights and inspirations, largely--is now live. The …

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Using Extended Metaphors in Your Writing – Part One

One element of creative writing that I struggled with in my MFA program was the use of metaphor, particularly ones extended across long passages. I bemoaned my struggle from one of my Vermont College of Fine Arts residencies. But as I progressed in my studies I came to realize I was too hard on myself, …

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