Story Structure Reflects Your Worldview

So last week I tried this wacky writing exercise I came up with. Wacky, because it’s time consuming. (If you’re feeling wacky, too, you can check it out on the Fiction Workshop syllabus under Week 4). Basically, I took a short story that wasn’t working. Well, okay, fine. It sucked. It really, really sucked. ButContinue reading “Story Structure Reflects Your Worldview”

What I Learned This Semester: In Praise of Slowness

I entered the first fiction seminar of my Accessible MFA convinced that I will never have a writing career. Five years ago, chronic illness had already destroyed one career. I was in my final year of my master’s program when I became sick. I lost jobs. I lost touch with mentors. I could no longerContinue reading “What I Learned This Semester: In Praise of Slowness”

The Angst of the Artist

It really only happens when we’re not working–because we’re stuck or self-doubting or, well, just not working. I am one hell of a crotchety old woman when I’m not writing. And lately that’s been true for a few more days than I’d like. During novel revisions last night, I finally went back to a revisedContinue reading “The Angst of the Artist”

Revision as Sculpture

A lot of students have come to me lately with papers deep in revision. “I’m really sorry for the mess,” they say. They set down a packet of stapled pages, all scrawled over with notes. Entire lines crossed out. Marginalia thicker than┬áprinted text. “Can you still read it?” “Are you kidding?” I ask them. “ThisContinue reading “Revision as Sculpture”