Tag Archives: creative writing

Pacing Your Book So Time Will Fly

Does time really fly when you’re having fun? Well, it sure does when you’re reading a book with perfect pacing. When we feel like time is flying by (or dragging along), the seconds aren’t any longer or shorter than they ever are. Understanding why we perceive a change of pace depending on our circumstances can help writers manipulate the story to mimic these pacing tricks. Anticipation, or goal motivation, tends to have an effect like acceleration. Philip Gable and Bryan

Writing Exercises: Why do we use them, and do we need them?

There are some great stories of writing exercises out there that have changed writers’ lives, styles, even dreams. Some are simply interesting, and a few make you wonder why we do these at all. In my final writing course, our professor brought out a bag of clementine oranges, dumped them in a basket, and told us each to take one and describe it so well that we would be able to pick it back out of the basket at the

Life is Like a Box Of Chocolates (so are anthologies)

While continuing our read of Object Lessons: The Paris Review Presents the Art of the Short Story, I just wanted to share a bit of commentary on the subject of writers reading short stories. It’s been several weeks since I began reading this collection. Everyone reads differently, and I do vary reading methods by the type of content I’m ingesting. Short stories, especially when accompanied by writerly commentary, are something to read slowly over extended periods. This helps separate each

Sure Growth and the Psychology of Practice

How to Become a Great Writer (no, seriously, this is how) This post is directly inspired by a recent Freakonomics podcast titled How to Become Great at Just About Anything. Tantalizing premise, isn’t it? Most of us have heard of the 10,000 hour rule; it takes 10,000 hours doing something to become excellent at it. (This is paraphrased.) Well, there’s more to it than just doing what you want to be good at, and the podcast spent a great deal

Object Lessons: Learning from Literary Short Fiction

I’ve recently picked up Object Lessons: The Paris Review Presents the Art of the Short Story and the first few stories got me thinking. This isn’t just any anthology. It’s geared toward writing instruction, marketed to aspiring writers looking to get a master class from some successful names in the literary genre. It has this high purpose, but it’s certainly not without its prejudices. Take a look at its description from the book’s Amazon listing: What does it take to

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