Tag Archives: writing

creating characters, part 3

Welcome to another installment of my character-creation process for storytelling. I started out by calling the series “creating characters in epic fiction,” but really I’m talking about creating characters in general, so I have shortened my title accordingly. I would … Continue reading

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art is like life: scary

So much of the writing life—as with the rest of life—is about managing fear. Maybe managing is not the right word, since it seems to imply competence and control. But fear plays a big part in our lives, shaping the … Continue reading

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developing a story

Once you’ve worked out what story is, it’s time to figure out how to write one. This part-developing a story-isn’t easy; for some of us, it can take longer than the natural human lifespan. But now, more than ever before, … Continue reading

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what does story mean, anyway?

Storytelling became something of a dirty word in the 20th century, at least among writers of serious fiction. It was seen as the concern of lesser, commercial writers. I’m not sure things are changing even now, but in this serious writer’s … Continue reading

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a literary Casanova

When I was about 16 I read You Can’t Go Home Again by Thomas Wolfe. The protagonist, George Webber, is a writer whose working method, if you can call it that, is to become seized with intense bouts of inspiration … Continue reading

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writers write—or do they?

By my own confession, I’m a writer. That means my profession, or let’s say my vocation, is writing. I write. But what do I write? What do I actually spend my time writing? When I look at it, the creation … Continue reading

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not commercial, not literary—what, then?

What do writers do with their time? I can’t speak for others; indeed, I can barely speak for myself, for I wonder where all the time goes. Partly this is an artifact of age, sure (I’m 58), but really it … Continue reading

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the writer-publisher on the flying trapeze

I’m reading a biography right now: Pursued by Furies: A Life of Malcolm Lowry by Gordon Bowker. I’m learning a lot about this troubled, alcoholic genius, who spent the best years of his life, by his own reckoning, living in … Continue reading

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the thrice-born story

When my father arrived, at age 14, with his mother in Halifax in 1948 as a refugee from Germany, it had been 4 years since he had last seen his father, Alexander. Alexander had waved goodbye to them from the … Continue reading

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“I Have No Mouth . . .”

I was a breech birth. Since then, I’ve done everything in life bass ackwards. A recent and relevant example of this is my education as a writer. Instead of first learning the craft of writing, and then studying up on … Continue reading

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