Writing 3.3 – “The Death Story”

In January of ’84, after a decent winter break between college semesters, I was excited and nervous about something new in my college schedule – theater.  Not theater from a book but more like an intro to acting.  I had always loved movies and plays, but I had never actually done anything towards joining a…

Writing 2.3 – A Contract with the Reader

When I took a graduate class called “Writing the Novel” a few years ago, I learned two very important things.  First, if you tell a writer that her work in progress is a romance novel when she thinks she’s writing literary fiction, be prepared to see a chair fly across the room.  Second, there’s something…

The “Not So” Great Gatsby

Either late in high school or early in college, I was ordered to read The Great Gatsby. I regarded it as the most boring thing I had ever picked up. However, roughly 20 years later, I decided that it may have been me who was boring, so I decided – through the recommendation of others…

Yo. Little Help.

I’m having a little trouble with something, but I can’t tell you what.  Let me be more specific.  I’m working on a short story, but I’m not sure if something is clear that needs to be clear. It’s a story about two regular, average kids in a regular, average, middle-American town.  However, there’s something a…

Happy Birthday, Stevie!

Hey, last week, did you wish a happy birthday to Stephen King?  He writes a LOT, but does that make him great writer?  If I eat a lot, does that make me a great eater?  Nobody can take away his originality, that’s for sure.  He blazed some new literary trails, but I kind of expected…

Jeff, Who Lives at Home

I’ve said that there’s no reason to write a story without a plot because you literally can make a plot of anything.  It’s really not hard.  Why did Jeff get a wrong-number phone call asking for Kevin?  Is Pat’s wife cheating on him?  You don’t need anything more. Jeff, Who Lives at Home was written…

– the writing process – step 1: pre-writing

The writing process – step 1:  pre-writing. It starts with a thought, an inspiration, an event that makes me say, “What would happen  if…?”  In the case of this story, which has a working title of The Connection, it began with a tragedy.  There was a plane crash last year involving a charter flight that…