Category: Advice / Suggestions

Banding Together: Capturing Female Friendship in Fiction

On the last weekend of last November, I flew home to LA to see a band. My former roommate picked me up from the airport, bringing us back...

“On Writing”

The truly terrifying thing to me is that I’ve been here before. Regrettably, this has become my wheelhouse, my comfort zone, my modus...

“Death of the Short Story”

The other day I was at a coffee shop with a fellow writer and we were discussing the current state of American literature, short fiction in...

“I Denigrate Myself”

I will start by saying that I do not have to explain myself to you.  Then I will go on to explain myself, out of some misplaced sense of...

“Lost and Found”

Technology is great.  When it works. When it doesn’t, blood pressure goes up.  Angry words are spoken.  Denouncement of...

“On The Artistic Temperament and a Writers Need For Privacy”

When I first think of the concept of artistic temperament, I think of the stereotype of moodiness, broodiness, and emotional explosiveness....

“Up Above”

I learned, further, that brain was likewise a commodity. It, too, was different from muscle. A brain seller was only at his prime when he...

“The Secret Musicians Know That Can Help Writers”

I am grateful that I came to writing after years spent as a practicing musician, where I learned perspectives that make my writing life...

“Deadline Walking”

As a child, I wrote an epic poem about a unicorn, planning to perform a recitation of it during the annual school talent show. I spent days...

“Make It Fun”

Free write. Write with one color in mind. Write with one smell in mind. Write a four-line prose poem. Write a six-word short story. Write...

“In Taos”

In Taos, late one summer afternoon, my wife Linda and I came upon a festival in the plaza. There were booths selling Indian crafts,...

“Editing’s Many Layers”

Small presses don’t have the reputation that larger presses do of maintaining high editorial standards. But my experience with these...

“The Assignment”

I am haunted by a writing assignment I first attempted as a senior-year final-semester English major at the University of Wisconsin in...

“Hearing Voices: Finding My Writing Community”

  At fifty-plus, I had started, but not finished, three utterly unrelated graduate programs before I found my way to the low-residency...

“A Strange Favor”

I am no stranger to oddity. In the early 1970s, I was standing in a voting line in Little Rock, Arkansas, chatting with a southern lady who...

“4 Ways To End a Story: Short Stories & Flash Fiction”

It’s difficult to describe good and bad art with accuracy. Creative writing suffers the same fate. What makes a polished story? How does...

Writer in Progress: The Writer’s Idea Book, Submission Notebook, and You

Much of what we do as writers is onscreen. While Word files, attachments, and screenshots are excellent tools, one of the resources my...

“Why Is a Raven Like a Writing Desk?”

The life of an author can be peculiar. Certain experiences ought to be grand events accompanied by trumpets and elephants, or at least a...

“You Can’t Write and Make Pizza”

I had a small group of friends over on a summer night—not my writer friends, but one of them was a book editor I used to work with a long...

“Solstice Means Stillness”

Nearly a decade ago, I promised myself I’d spend summer solstice in the brightest part of the world. It wasn’t so much a bucket-list...

“Just Short of the Words”

The land just east of the high school covers 22.4 acres, a slab of earth christened University Commons for its catty corner nature to a...

“Unfaithful Writer”

I’ll admit it, I have problems committing. When I first met my current “amor” I swore I had never seen an idea so sexy,...

“Creative Writing: From the Outside In”

People finding out that I write poetry are oftentimes surprised, for any variety of reasons. Perhaps they don’t think it accords with...

“What High School Students Learned at Career Day, i.e. What I Learned at Career Day”

“If I agree to speak at Career Day, could I get a better interest rate on my house loan?” I asked my banker who was a member of...

Why I Write: Robert Pope

I became aware of a strong impulse to write stories in the first semester of my sophomore year in college, when I took a creative writing...

“On Fearless Writing”

I’ve been writing fiction and essays for twenty years. Since 2010, I have tried to write fearlessly. Though I’m not quite there...

“From Authors Remote, Alien, Diverse”

“A good poet will usually borrow from authors remote in time, or alien in language, or diverse in interest.” – T.S. Eliot When I...

“My Sloshing-Around Snow Globe Brain”

I hear all these stories about the greatest writers of all time carrying around notebooks, jotting down their brilliant thoughts throughout...

“Fat-shaming the Muse”

Like millions of young readers over the past half-century, I was enchanted by the pioneer stories of Laura Ingalls Wilder. I picked up...

“Striving for Immortality”

Every night, my wife and I listen to an old time radio program. In the twelve or thirteen years we’ve been doing it, we’ve heard...

“Chimney Flashing: How I Got Back into Writing”

I felt the need to accomplish something, so I climbed onto the roof and measured the chimney. I would build a flashing. I only recently...

“Writing Through”

The night of my first seizure, I was sixteen years old. I was taken to a hospital, scanned and poked. I trusted America’s healthcare...

“Writing in the Fallow”

Why am I here? Not getting married, not finishing an MFA, not moving to Oregon. I’m heading into the deep freeze of Arctic-Iowa,...

“In Dreams, Reality”

Many years ago, a Fiction Writing student asked me an interesting question: How do you write something original? I asked him to let me...

“Creativity’s Marathon”

This morning, after dropping my daughter off for a playdate and beginning the walk home, I found myself thinking about something that has...

“Curmudgeon Writer Expostulates on . . . The Prologue: Who Needs It?”

I used to teach “Novel Writing” at a college that has asked to remain anonymous. I had to give up teaching the class for my...

“Beyond The Fax”

I learned to fax at the age of twenty-six. As a receptionist for two publishers, inhabiting a little gray cubicle, I received calls, sliced...

“This Writer’s Secret to Doing What She Loves”

Do what you love may be the most overused advice in the career-improvement world.  A blogpost on the complexity of this directive went...

“Why I Write in the Digital Age”

Every day I find reasons not to be a writer. I’m not talking about doubts spurred by my inconsistent income or a string of failed pitches...

Why I Write: “Writing to Understand”

My views on writing have changed through the years. As a kid, I wrote to gain some attention. As a teenager, I wrote to transport myself...

Writing Practice: The 15-minute Method

Why do writers sabotage their own success by creating unrealistic goals for their writing practice?  Deadlines and structure are good...

“Five Stages of Writer’s Grief”

  Denial. I’m a notable, talented and prolific writer, and I can finish a story in a day, and any notable publication will accept...

“Tips and Rules to Use in Writing Historical Fiction”

These are the lecture notes I used at Missouri State in W. D. Blackmon’s class and at the Creamery Arts Center. Have any of you written...

Book Festivals: Why Authors Should Spend the Money to Travel to Book Festivals”

Book festivals are a tradition I’m thinking a lot about lately. By the end of the year I will have taken Some Kinds of Love: Stories to...

“Cutting Down”

If you write flash fiction with any regularity, you need to master the art of reduction. You’ve finished your story, which weighs in at...

“Being Away from What You Write: What Does Distance Do to Fiction’s Sense of Place?”

In Dr. Brooks Blevins’s class in Ozarks Literature and History, the first question a student asked struck at the heart of what I am...

“On the Value of Publishing with a University Press”

This week, November 11-17, is University Press Week, a seven-day celebration of what university presses are, what they do, and what great...

“Playing on the Ladder with Micro-Fiction”

It was a precocious high school freshman who introduced me to the adorable boxed set of flash fiction published by McSweeney’s, One...

“Being a Reclusive Author in Today’s Publishing Industry”

Recently, I received the following comment from a writer: I have two questions regarding publishing and platform. I’m hoping you can...

“Your No One is My Everyone: Some Thoughts on Publishing and the Sage Advice of Businessmen”

The first time I fully realized the value of what I do for a living, I was stricken with the stomach flu. Illness is the one excuse to stop...

“Breaking into Freelance Independent Editing”

Recently, I received the following comment from a writer: Hi Victoria, I am a poet and the editor of a community journal of literature and...

“Finding the Right Editor for You”

 Recently, I received the following question from a writer: Your remarks on Twitter seem to say that you love editing as much, if not...

“The Secret Uncertainties of a Writer”

You know something? The inner critic is mean. It loves to play on existing insecurities and drill into them as if debriding an open wound....

“Critiquing the Critique”

I’ve found the most difficult part of writing is in receiving meaningful critiques—hell, who am I fooling? My problem is in getting any...

Corner Post: The Window Between

When writing projects come to an end, step back and recharge.  Allow yourself to write short, incomplete things, the fragments that help...

“What’s Your Book About? How to Make a Pitch”

When my first novel was complete, I sent it to an academic press. (You could do that then.) The editor liked the book, but decided it would...

“Where Do Ideas Come From?”

Someone posed that question on an online fiction writers forum. The thread went on for months. Responses included the following sources of...

The Writer and Her Time

The Writer begins when she is young. She doesn’t want to waste time. Reading is wonderful but writing feels better. After she finishes...

“Giving your Setting a Little Character”

I read somewhere that you should treat the setting of your story like a character. Give it a strong identity, allow it to have mood swings,...

A Writer’s Writer: Colum McCann’s Thirteen Ways of Looking

Irish writer Colum McCann is best known for his National Book Award winning novel, Let the Great World Spin. Despite winning one of the...

Ask an Agent Series: Tracey Adams

Tracey Adams is the Co-Founder of Adams Literary. For this installment of our Ask an Agent Series, we asked...

“Save Your Abandoned Art”

You are going to write a story so gripping that your readers will forget their problems and disappear inside your well-placed words. You...

“Stimulus and Response: Getting Down to the Nitty Gritty”

In fiction, stimulus and response work like a ping-pong game. They make you look at the line-by-line progression of a story. Stimulus is...

“Time to Turn Your Flash to the Dark Side”

“Narrative,” writes Peter Abbott in The Cambridge Introduction to Narrative, “is present in every age, in every place, in every...

“Use POV To Close That Distance in a Flash”

I never fully grasped point-of-view until I read David Jauss’s amazing essay “From Long Shots To X-Rays: Distance and Point of View in...

“How to Craft Compelling Characters”

The source and exact nature of the curious phenomena we refer to as characters remains something of a mystery, but the craft of...

“Want to Make Your Dialogue Sparkle?”

Have you ever finished writing a scene of dialogue, re-read it and wondered why it doesn’t sparkle? Below is an example of such a...

Ask an Agent Series: Caryn Wiseman

Caryn Wiseman is a senior agent at Andrea Brown Literary Agency. For this installment of our Ask an Agent Series, we asked Caryn what she...

The Craft of Writing ‘Great’ Short Fiction

Don’t be fooled – writing great short fiction is no easy feat. Although, this form of writing is relatively brief compared with the...

“Making Your Scenes Work Harder”

When I started my novel, Cradlesnatch, I estimated it would be around 50,000 words, which is normal for a YA novel. However it’s...

“How to Improve Your Odds of Sticking to Your Writing Resolutions”

On the evening news not long ago a fitness guru offered three tips to improve your chances of sticking to your fitness goals in the New...

What’s the Big Deal about Leading a Writers’ Workshop?

Well, I’ll tell you. It probably teaches you as much as it does the other participants. Perhaps more. I led a workshop Saturday for my...

“Could Your Dialogue Be Doing More?”

Humans communicate by talking each other, it’s something we do all the time to tell each other things. So when it comes to writing...

“Make the Impossible Look Real”

In his book, Writing the Break Out Novel, Donald Maass states: “take that which is improbable and make it look...

A Review of The Art of Character

The Art of Character by David Corbett (Pengin, 2013)   Like most writers, I have several books in my bookshelves on craft. In...

“Cutting Your First Draft”

Yesterday I reached the end of my second draft of Cradlesnatch. Three weeks ago the first draft stood at 92,000 words. Today the word...

“Why You Should Battle the Proofreading Ogre and How to Manage the War”

Proofreading is so much more than reviewing text for errors. It is a masochistic activity that follows close on the heels of the euphoria...

“Pages in the Hands of an Angry Editor”

Thanks Nathan Sturgis for the title of this week’s blog, and thanks Jonathan Edwards for the sermon that inspired...

“Why I Love Literary Citizenship”

Much is being written lately on the topic of literary citizenship. Since this was the topic of my Master’s final research paper, I...

“Ten Habits of Effective Writing Critiquers”

Creative writing workshops can be a place where writers help colleagues shape their written work so that it effectively communicates the...

“Use Writing as an Excuse to Travel to Beautiful Places (and other Confessions of a Conference Monster)”

Up in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the mornings were cold and the internet worked only after the sun came out and re-charged the cells...

“Writing a Fight Scene”

It’s been a long journey, but I’ve finally reached the last section of my novel, Cradlesnatch, and what I need to do now is...

“Teaching Editing–A Little Grammar Goes a Long Way”

I’ve still got my editing cap on this week. After my tiny proofreading tantrum a couple of weeks ago and completing those two jobs for...

Corner Post: “Get a Rhythm”

First thing in the morning read something—a poem, half a story, an essay, a thesaurus entry.  Just get your mind immersed in words....

“The Writer’s Brain on Data”

There is always another email to answer, another link to share, another picture to upload, another article to read, and always another...

Ask an Editor Series: Hypertrophic Press

Lynsey Morandin is the Editor of Hypertrophic Press. Originally from Canada, Lynsey holds a degree and post-graduate certificate in book...

“6 Quick Proofreading Tips”

What a busy week! We had National Grammar Day on March 4, and today, March 8, is National Proofreading Day. For someone like...

Corner Post: “Getting Through the Dark Hours”

The thing about novel writing is that the old cliché about rolling with the punches is absolutely true.  Flash fiction and short stories...

“How To Show Your Character On The Page”

When my first novel, Fury, went out to publishers it received several rejections giving similar feedback. They couldn’t connect...

“Looking at the Big Picture – Are Your Character Motivations Working?”

Sometimes when you’re editing, you can find yourself spending so much time focusing on the line by line detail that you lose track of...

A Review of 6 Books on the Craft of Fiction

Here’s the skinny on six of the “how-to” books for fiction writers in my bookcase – three on fiction generally and three on crime...

Becoming a Freelance Independent Editor: For Young Writers”

I was contacted by a high school student interested in becoming a freelance independent editor. She sent me a list of interview questions...

Ask an Editor Series: Tara Masih

For this segment of our Ask an Editor Series, we asked Tara about The Best Small Fictions 2015, her advice for aspiring editors, as well as...

A Review of Two Books on Revision Techniques

My bookcase holds two books that deal with revising and editing fiction: Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and...

“The Art of the Book Review”

I just got off the phone with my friend, L. Marie, who recently created a blog, “Thoughts about writing and life.”...

Ask an Agent Series: Felicia Eth

Felicia Eth is a literary agent at Felicia Eth Literary Representation. For this installment of our Ask an Agent Series, we asked Felicia...

“Seven Reasons to Attend a Writers’ Conference”

If you have never been to a writers’ conference, you are missing great opportunities.  You don’t need to be a writer to...

An Interview with Alan Rinzler

I recently had the opportunity to speak with Alan Rinzler, who has had a long and successful career as an acquisitions editor and executive...

“Creating Memorable Characters”

Before you begin your new story, take a little time to create fresh new characters that are your own. Using someone else's...

What’s the Big Deal about Your Inner Critic?

Well, I’ll tell you: she’s taking up space in your head that could be put to better use. And thanks to Robert Dugoni, I learned to tell...

Ask an Agent Series: Reiko Davis

Reiko Davis is a literary agent at Miriam Altshuler Literary Agency. For this installment of our Ask an Agent Series, we asked Reiko...

“Pick Up a Baton and Orchestrate Your Characters!

Are your characters earning their place in your fiction? When they appear on the page do they make your story move? If you said...

“Is It Possible to Teach Editing?”

I’m working on my syllabi for my fall classes. It’s always an interesting challenge. I like to use a white board–I can erase easily!...

Eight Reasons to Consider Pursuing an MFA

  Okay, in advance, I confess. I have an MFA. You may detect a bit of bias in favour of MFAs in what follows.  So be it. Here are...

Corner Post: “The Intangibles”

  In my last essay, I talked about the practical side to creating a writing life—balancing money, time, and place. This month I want...

Write Now: “Extending and Advancing”

Once again, Improvisational Theatre waves its hand from the back row – “Miss, miss!” “Yes Impro, do you have...

What’s the Big Deal about Public Readings of Your Writing?

Well, I’ll tell you: dry mouth, sweaty armpits, and the urge to call for your Mom. And the reason, of course, is that you are taking the...

Ask an Agent Series: Deborah Schneider

Deborah Schneider is a partner at Gelfman Schneider Literary Agents Inc. For this installment of our Ask an Agent Series, we asked...

Ask an Agent Series: Claire Anderson-Wheeler

Claire Anderson-Wheeler is a literary agent at Regal Literary. For this installment of our Ask an Agent Series, we asked Claire what she...

“The Hard Work of Writing”

  “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” I’ve been guilty of saying just that to...

Ask an Editor Series: Michael Griffith

Michael Griffith is the Fiction Editor at Cincinnati Review. For this segment of our Ask an Editor Series, we asked Michael what he...

“What Is Your Daily Word Count?”

Many fiction writing experts advise writers to set a daily writing goal, usually 1,000 words per day. There are several benefits for...

Corner Post: “Gumption”

For me a writing life has always been determined by three things—money, time, and place.  And never have I had an abundance of all...

Ask an Agent Series: Jill Kramer

Jill Kramer is a literary agent at Waterside Productions, Inc. For this installment of our Ask an Agent Series, we asked Jill what she...

“Lessons for the Genres”

As I examined my AWP conference loot, I pulled out a book called Creative Writing: Four Genres in Brief by David Starkey. A gentleman at...

“Don’t Tell Me What to Think or How to Feel: Avoiding Didacticism”

In my last article, I touched upon the importance of subtlety of theme in effective writing. This can also be understood as the avoidance...

“Finding Your Voice”

One of the most difficult, but essential, questions for beginning writers is this: how do I find my voice? Giving guidance about finding...

“Fear as Fuel for Creativity”

“The writers we tend to universally admire, like Beckett, or Kafka, or TS Eliot, are not very prolific.” —John Updike Despite the...

Write Now: “Playful Collaboration”

I was intrigued by a tweet from Margaret Attwood: “Margaret Atwood and Naomi Alderman: It might seem rather unexpected, but there’s a...

The Writing Room: Why Go Back?

Rejection and the accompanying crushing disappointment is something writers likely face daily and shrug off without much reflection. It’s...

Write Now: “Dear Diary”

For my current YA novel, Still Water, I’m using a “diary” structure. This has its pros and cons. Some pros: The...

Ask an Agent Series: Jennifer Flannery

Jennifer Flannery is the founder of Flannery Literary. For this installment of our Ask an Agent Series, we asked Jennifer what...

Corner Post: “Dirty Your Hands”

Tapping on a computer keyboard always reminds me of when I played the piano as a kid. Back then the tapping made music. Now, words. Both...

Write Now: “The Art of Rewriting”

Often when we talk about the “rewriting” stage of a manuscript, we’re really talking about editing and polishing. We take...

“What Makes a Main Character?”

Readers remember compelling main characters. Who could forget Harry Potter? Scarlett O’Hara? Don Vito Corleone? Dorothy Gale? What is...

A “Real Job”: The Legitimacy of Creative Writing

Over the course of my creative writing MFA, the topic of the work-writing balance has come up more than a few times. Some of my colleagues...

“Conflicting Advice”

For most of my life, I’ve considered writing to be a solitary activity. When I began studying creative writing at university, I...

“Fostering Literary Community in the Digital Age”

A writer is accustomed to solitude. Writing requires a certain amount of isolation in order for words to become stories, poems and essays....

“Processing Feedback”

Here is what most writers forget. You are the boss of your own story. Not the other writers in your critique group. Not the famous author...

Corner Post: “When the Work Calls You To It”

A friend of mine told me this once. He is an artist and I was asking him about time, about finding, making time for art with everything...

“The Reviews are In — And They Are Crafty”

A few weeks ago, I participated in a “boot camp” offered by Writer’s Digest, “Agent One-on-One: How to Craft Query Letters &...

“Giving Your Tale a Twist”

In many ways, twist endings are the lifeblood of flash fiction, the sudden reversals that change everything. Flash fictions like this are...

“The Digital Narrative”

Narrative nonfiction is tricky, full of emotional nuance and blatant subjectivity. Also, thanks to technology, we all write it all the...

“Don’t Write Off the Comments of Workshop Readers—Even If They Are All Idiots”

In her article “Workshopping,” Stephanie Vanderlice sums up the phenomenon of the writing workshop in a four-word sentence: “Writer,...

“Are You Ready to Write?”

You’ve decided to write your first novel. Congratulations. You can’t wait to sit down and write. You’ve come up with a...

“Avoid the Bog: Save Revision for Later”

I spent this past weekend being an academic. While I’ve presented at plenty of writers conferences, this past weekend I gave a paper...

The Challenge Beyond Craft: Slot-Filling (Part II)

In Part I, I discussed the challenge of content, of filling each “slot” with something, and the overwhelming uncertainty associated...

“Instant Gratification: Sharing Your Creative Work”

Whenever I successfully complete a story, poem or creative work, my first impulse is that of a high school gossip with a secret: share it....

The Challenge Beyond Craft: Slot-Filling (Part 1 of 2)

A few weeks ago, in “Give Readers Something To Love,” I discussed the realities of your flash fiction submission being one of hundreds...

“Hook the Skimmers”

Congratulations! An editor loves your prose. You’ve sold your story. Feel wonderful. You should. After the euphoria collapses, you...

“The Overly Sensitive Writer”

Anne Lamott recently wrote an article titled “Me, the overly sensitive child,” adapted from her book, Stitches: A Handbook on...

“The Arc of the Story”

Read any popular novel and you are likely to find similarities in story structure. The classic story arc adheres to this structure: •  ...

Ask an Editor Series: Jason Jordan

Jason Jordan is the Editor-in-Chief of decomP magazine. For this segment of our Ask an Editor Series, we asked Jason what he typically...

Corner Post: Start a New Year Writing Cycle

In December I jot down what writing got done and what didn’t over the past 12 months.  Then I work on the house my wife and I...

“Giving Readers Something To Love”

If a flash has been workshopped, it has become accustomed to unique attention—that of a handful of writers giving it their...

Ask an Agent Series: Kimberley Cameron

Kimberley Cameron is the President at Kimberley Cameron & Associates, For this installment of our Ask an Agent Series, we...

“Location, Location, Location”

You're reading through the first draft of your story. You have an interesting protagonist, an engaging plot, and a terrific opening to...

“Igniting Your Writing Core”

Sometimes our writing creativity can blaze up like a bonfire and other times it can sputter like a weak campfire. It may wane, flicker at...

Ask an Editor Series: Jim Hicks & Emily Wojcik

Jim Hicks is the Executive Editor of the Massachusetts Review, and director of the Graduate Program  in Comparative Literature at the...

“How to Mine your Childhood for Story Gems and More”

If you were to write a recipe that, when fully cooked, would produce a complex result called you, what would the ingredients be? A while...

Corner Post: “Questions of Risk”

Main characters need a stake in their story.  The answer rarely comes in the first drafts for me, but at some point, I halfway figure...

Ask an Agent Series: Laura Biagi

Laura Biagi joined the Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency Inc. (JVNLA) in 2009. She is actively building her own client list, seeking adult...

“Why Write Fiction?”

Passion is the reason I write fiction. Why else would I do it? It’s one of the loneliest jobs in the world. The payoff is not...

The Process of Publishing: An Exercise

When I teach my editing class, I always like to begin early with an exercise. The entire class becomes a publishing company, and we...

“Write It Out”

Clichés can be accurate portrayals of certain situations. The phrase “[S/he] threw me under the bus,” for instance, invites the image...

“As Far As You Can Go”

Hopefully you’ve all read Lesley Glaister’s, As Far As You Can Go. I chose this as I’m going off on my own Australian adventure...

“TV Watching Does Not Waste Writers’ Time”

As writers, we probably won't feel guilty about watching primetime television shows if we've written eight straight hours and...

A Short Course in Short-Short Fiction

Short-shorts seem so simple. Also known by such names as sudden, flash or micro fiction, short-shorts are tight little tales packed into 1,...

Write Now: “Proofreading”

Proof-reading, say all the self-help books, is vital. A manuscript riddled with typos and grammatical errors conveys a lack of respect for...

“7 Tips for Writing Flash Fiction”

What is Flash Fiction? Flash forward to flash fiction, a form of fiction writing which is increasing in popularity day by day. Flash...

“Components of a Good Opening Scene”

In The First Five Pages: A Writer's Guide to Staying Out of the Rejection Pile, writer and former literary agent Noah Lukeman...

Write Now: “Ideas”

In Neil Gaiman’s Sandman #17 ‘Calliope’, Morpheus punishes a writer by overwhelming him with ideas for stories. ‘They’re coming...

Ask an Agent Series: Jennifer Unter

Jennifer Unter founded The Unter Agency, LLC in 2008.For this installment of our Ask an Agent Series, we asked Jennifer what she...

“See Me”

Transparency is not art, but it is increasingly a part of life. There is no longer much of a choice when it comes to exposure. Writers,...

“Three Decisions to Make about Viewpoint in Fiction”

You have a fabulous idea for a short story, perhaps a novel. You have a rough outline — or not, but you know how the story is going...

“Learning How: Courses, Workshops and Tutors”

"Beginning writers must appreciate the prerequisites if they hope to become writers. You pay your dues — which takes...

Ask an Agent Series: Joelle Delbourgo

Joelle Delbourgo is the President at Joelle Delbourgo Associates. For this installment of our Ask an Agent Series, we asked...

Corner Post: “Stop Time”

What is your writing plan?  When I ask my students this question, some have the next ten years mapped out.  Some tell me plans...

Ask an Agent Series: Madeleine Clark

Madeleine Clark is an agent at Sterling Lord Literistic, Inc. For this installment of our Ask an Agent Series, we asked Madeleine...

Ask an Editor Series: Jason Cook

Jason Cook is the Founding Editor of Fiddleblack. For this segment of our Ask an Editor Series, we asked Jason what he typically looks...

Write Now: “Realistic Dialogue”

I recently read a draft of a colleague’s story. I was thoroughly enjoying the tension, the mystery, the literary craft of the tale...

“Creating a Masterpiece”

In the days when many professions were controlled by guilds, your masterpiece was not your best or most celebrated work.  It was your...

Ask an Agent Series: Elizabeth Kaplan

Elizabeth Kaplan owns and runs The Elizabeth Kaplan Literary Agency in New York. For the first installment of our Ask an Agent Series,...

Corner Post: “Develop a Second Sight”

When I was growing up, working on fences with my father and my brother, the corner post was the most important. It determined how tight our...

Ask an Editor Series: Grant Faulkner/Lynn Mundell

Grant Faulkner & Lynn Mundell are co-editors @ 100 Word Story. For the first installment of our Ask an Editor Series, we asked Lynn...

“The End”

… You don’t miraculously arrive at the ending. You have to have a sense of drama. And you discover the ending in the writing, or...

“Budgeting Complication”

Google complication in literature and you will get a ton of results about just that: conversations about manipulating that part...

“Who Matters”

I remember a rule from an undergraduate fiction workshop. Looking at my transcript, I must have learned it from Bret Lott. I worked with...

“Sweet Refrain”

I heard it twice this summer in Sewanee. The first time, it came from my fellow workshopper's flash fiction piece. The second time, it...