A good piece of fiction opens by putting together some sort of knot that will have to be untangled by the end of the narrative. This knot can be constructed from characters who are at cross-purposes, or from a problem that has to be solved, a journey undertaken, a visitor whose presence challenges the status…

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This past week’s release of Harper Lee’s novel, Go Set a Watchman, has me thinking of the first time I was aware of To Kill a Mockingbird, not the book, but the film, which I saw with my aunt and grandmother at a drive-in theater when I was seven. I remember being completely engrossed with…

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Is it just me, or has narrative fallen out of favor with a large number of creative nonfiction writers? While I admire the lyric, the experimental, and all the forms that we continue to create in this extremely elastic genre, I still encourage young writers not to be so quick to dismiss narrative because narrative…

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      I’ve been spending some time lately wandering through cemeteries, chasing down departed ancestors. I particularly love the old country graveyards, some of them alongside small churches, some of them on hillsides along gravel roads, some of them only accessible by driving through a farmer’s barn lot or down grassy lanes between cornfields.…

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