Dialogue

So far in my class we've talked about characterization and point of view, and last night we tackled dialogue. I wasn't sure how interested my students would be in this subject, but they ended up having a lot of questions — ranging in topic from punctuation to whether it's more effective to use dialogue or …

Point of View

After last week's disappointments, I really struggled with planning this week's lesson on point of view. I wasn't sure how much detail would be too much for the class. Should I just introduce first-, second-, and third-person narration? Or should I also get into third-person objective, limited, and omniscient narration? The third-person specifics seemed like …

Learning

Some writers believe writing can't be taught. Others claim anyone can learn to be a writer, that it’s all about discipline and perseverance. Personally, I subscribe to Galileo’s theory, which seems to combine the two ways of thinking: “You cannot teach a man anything, you can only help him find it within himself.” This theory …

On the road

I spent sixteen hours alone in the car this weekend and brought along some audio books for company. I started with Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. Seemed appropriate. If you haven’t heard Tom Stechschulte read this grand novel while driving, give it a try. Preferably by yourself. And in cold weather. But be forewarned — you’re …

Audience matters

This week I read a great interview in The Rumpus in which Nanette Vonnegut said her father always kept his audience in mind while writing. He had a very specific audience: his sister. “He got her attention because he was funny,” Nanette said. “When you see them together, there’s just so much love there.” Nanette went on to …

The power of the pen

When I finished my MFA program in January, I ordered the gifts our class chose to give the faculty: pens imprinted with our class slogan and graduation date. They had built-in reading lights, and we strung them on matching silk cords with handwritten thank-you notes. What perfect gifts for writers, from writers! But they were …

Here I am

I've owned this domain for over a year now, so I figure it's about time I started blogging here. Since I'm a writer, you'd think blogging would come naturally to me — but that's not the case. I'd much rather hibernate with private writing projects that only see the light of day (if ever) after …