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Are You Talking to Me? Use of the Second Person

Perhaps it’s because I don’t like being told what to do. Maybe it’s because I don’t like to reflect on some of the things I’ve done. But as a reader I generally do not care for the use of the second person. I’ve been forced to rethink my position after reading Sue William Silverman’s masterful […]

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Celebrating an Escape into Fiction

News flash: A compelling novel can magically transport you to another world. Apparently this lifelong reader needed that reminder this past weekend. I’ve been feeling creatively underpowered, as I’ve written, but I’ve also been physically unwell and busier than usual at my day job. So this weekend I traveled to a dystopian future world called […]

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Rebecca Skloot on Producing Creative Nonfiction

Readers are embracing creative nonfiction like never before, even if they may not know that what they are reading is defined as such. That is forgivable, as writers, editors and instructors in the creative nonfiction space are still struggling with defining creative nonfiction, or CNF. Perhaps more accurately, they are struggling to define its boundaries […]

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Remembering the Day We’ll Never Forget

I found myself in the middle of chaos on September 11th, 2001, covering an impromptu evacuation of the U.S. Capitol as a Washington, D.C., based reporter. That emotional trauma came as I was struggling with an adjustment to life as a divorced father of two children. When the 10th anniversary of 9/11 came in 2011 […]

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Guest Post: How Properly Structured Beginnings and Endings Hold Your Book Together

The indomitable K.M. Weiland is at it again with a new writing craft book titled Structuring Your Novel: Essential Keys for Writing an Outstanding Story. We have on occasion posted on each other’s blogs and we like to retweet each other. Today I’m providing a new guest post from her that provides a bit of […]

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The Role of Structure in Creative Free Thinking

Creativity can closely resemble chaos, as it did for me last week when I watched thirty 5th-graders whirling around a classroom with cardboard, duct tape, motors, gears, string and safety scissors. I was witnessing problem solving in action, solutions borne of a broad liberty in thought framed by a specific challenge needing to be addressed. […]

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What Drives Some Memoirists from Truth to Fiction?

I remain obsessed with “truthiness” in memoirs. I know I’m not alone; my March post on the subject generated 187 comments. I believe I have arrived at three key principles for writing a memoir that is worth reading without truthiness. It is as follows: 1. Believe in your story. 2. Rely on your writing to […]

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Mapping the Narrative Lines of Your Story

I’ll confess that this post is driven as much by defensiveness as it is a desire to educate. My recent review of the book Creative You and my interview with co-author David B. Goldstein has reminded me of something I’ve long known from interviews with artists; every creative has his or her own process. That […]

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MFA Nugget: The Secret to Including Drama in Your Creative Writing

MONTPELIER, VERMONT: If you think this post on enhancing dramatic moments in your creative writing is going to feature craft tips, think again. Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA in Writing instructor Lawrence Sutin has some amateur psychology and insightful philosophy to guide you; that is, he did in his lecture here at my final residency, […]

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MFA Nugget: Richard Russo on Winning the Pulitzer and the Writing Life

MONTPELIER, VT: If you were a writer, what would be the first question you would ask a Pulitzer-Prize-winning novelist? I’m having a hard time narrowing my list down to that one question, but Vermont College of Fine Arts President Tom Greene chose to open a public discussion here at our MFA in Writing residency with […]

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