The Year When: A Writing Exercise

This past week, I had the pleasure of being with the Phoenix Writers Network. What a delightful and talented group of writers. I shared a writing prompt with them, and the results were so impressive I thought you might find it useful. A writing problem I have from time to time is getting started on…

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Mystery and Reversal: The Art of a Story’s Middle

I’m thinking today particularly about those of us who write short stories. I know from my own experience, as well as from that of my students, that we often begin a story with a good deal of enthusiasm only to find it faltering in the middle. We spend so much time talking and thinking about…

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One Way to Shape a Narrative

Here we are on the other side of the Fourth of July. We’re in the heart of summer now, but I can feel its end and the coming of the crisp days of fall and then the biting winds of winter within the hot, sunny days that will still be ours for some time. Book-length…

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