Monthly Archives: October 2010

The Seven-Hour Story

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On Thursday, I took a break from thinking about my big thing to write a small thing. Huffington Post‘s “Seven Rings: A Game of Artists’ Telephone” is a new media blog/art project curated by poet Nicole Walker and artist Rebecca … Continue reading

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My Blogroll, My Students

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Just so you know: I’ve been thinking about this idea–THE BIG THING–for ten years now. Ask my students. How many have worked with me on a Big Thing? Oh my. Hundreds. This is the statement that goes in the syllabus … Continue reading

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NaNoDraMo?

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On the first day of my Advanced Fiction course, I dropped the bomb. “Everyone in this class is going to participate in National Novel Writing Month. Even me.” You should know this: not a single student dropped. In fact, many … Continue reading

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You need visual (and aural and tactile) aids

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When I was young, I obsessed about craft as a writer and teacher, because I thought craft alone could save me and save my students. I learned (and then taught) the methods of characterization, effective use of dialogue, how to … Continue reading

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Writer’s Center of Indiana @ Marian University

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I’ll be in Indianapolis tomorrow, Saturday, October 23, to talk more about making big things at the Gathering of Writers. If you’re in Indy or there bouts, please drop by. http://www.indianawriters.org/gathering.html If the technology gods are shining down on me, … Continue reading

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It’s not a story. It’s a manuscript.

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I know someone who took a Novel Workshop in college. This is how it went down. First, they studied the first sentences of a bunch of novels and wrote one of their own, then workshopped it. Then they studied first … Continue reading

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Maybe it’s not a bad story. Maybe it’s a big thing.

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The title of this blog comes from an old mentor of mine, John Keeble. He referred to our books in progress not as novels or short story collections or books-and certainly not as MFA theses-but simply as “big things.” It … Continue reading

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Origin Story

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These questions have been on my mind for quite a while: Why did I spend twenty years working on short stories as opposed to novels? Is it nature or nurture? Am I really predisposed to write short stories, or do … Continue reading

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