Although anyone can now be ePublished, there’s more than a little prep required to get there. The first thing you’ve got to do is reformat it to a file type that your ePub platform of choice will accept. That is, once you’ve chosen a platform. To land in the largest pile of elephant dung, and […]

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Fictional characters are not the reliable servants people sometimes take them for. Not real characters, anyway. Not ones in character-based fiction. With the other kind, plot-based, they tend to get short-changed. They’re pushed around sometimes like chess pieces. But real characters need to walk around for a while, say and do and think about things […]

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1949 seems to have been the crucial year.  I’m still reading Windblown World, and it has been fascinating to watch the development of Kerouac’s thinking and writing.  In ’49, in the midst of getting The Town and the City ready for publication, the writer whom we know as Jack Kerouac is emerging from his chrysalis.  […]

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The new novel has gotten off to a good start, though I don’t have nearly the time I’d like for it.  There may be people who can take ten spare minutes and turn them into productive writing time, but I’m not one of them.  I need to know that I’ll have at least two or […]

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Having my students rearrange their stories is beginning to pay off.  Today, one of my 5th graders apologized because she decided she didn’t like her new arrangement, and was going to have to start over again.  Breakthrough!  I seized the moment to tell them one of my favorite (very possibly apocryphal) writing stories, which may […]

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A distinct sameness has been pervading the stories the kids in my writing class are working on.  A sameness almost unrelieved, despite all our talk about visual writing, and looking at examples in books, by description of any sort.  Our mice live in featureless worlds.  They display only the most rudimentary hints of personality.  I’d […]

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It had been absolute donkey’s years since I’d read the 761pages of The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling, published in 1750 by Henry Fielding and frequently praised ever since for, among other things, the intricate structure of the plot.  I had thoroughly enjoyed it back when I’d read it in my 18th century novel […]

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Sharp-eyed readers of my recent attempts to work out a theory of literature will be excused if they have begun to suspect that I’m more interested in how something is written than what it is about.  Virginia Woolf once responded to a correspondent as follows: . . . don’t, I beg of you, father on […]

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Rather incoherent, says Virginia Woolf, and also, as is the case with all theories, too definite. Theories often seem too definite to me, too, especially theories about art, but still I can’t resist whittling away at one.  Earnest Hemingway says that when he used to get writer’s block he would write down the truest thing […]

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I’ve been asking some of my regular blog readers what they would like to hear about, and one has suggested that I write about how being in Spain last summer helped me to get writing again.  That’s an easy one.  It was so hot during the day that I pretty much gave up on my […]

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