Friends, we’re almost to the end of our workshop time together. The final post will come next week. Tonight’s post comes a tad earlier than usual, and will perhaps be a bit shorter, since I’m traveling to Chicago tomorrow for the Associated Writing Programs annual conference. So. . .let’s get at it. Part of our…

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Part of our conversation yesterday focused on the choice one student had made to tell a story from a collective consciousness, the voice of the “we.” Perhaps the most well-known example of this strategy in short fiction is the Faulkner story, “A Rose for Emily,” which begins by establishing the perspective of the Mississippi town…

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American rocker, John Mellencamp, calls Bloomington, Indiana, home. Bloomington is what we’d call a hop, skip, and a jump from where I grew up just over the state line in the agricultural land of southeastern Illinois. “No, I cannot forget from where it is I come from,” Mellancamp sings in his 1985 song, “Small Town,”…

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We’ve been talking quite a bit about how a story gets resonance from the proper pairing of characters and the pressure of plot that causes something surprising and yet inevitable to rise at the end. As we all know, it’s one thing to say this is what has to happen in order for a story…

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Here we are at the halfway point of our ten-week workshop. I hope things are going well and that the posts are giving you some important things to consider as you develop your craft. I know it’s been a good thing for me to think more deeply about the techniques, strategies, and issues that have…

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