Cathedral: Carver Cuts Up Birdman


Ever since Birdman, Raymond Carver has once again emerged as a “hip” short story writer. Those of us who have studied writing or English, though, will recognize many of his stories because he is just that prominent. Cathedral (the collection) is what I picked up a few weeks ago. While [...]

3 Writing Criticisms You Actually Want


In writing, nothing beats a healthy amount of constructive criticism. Whether you’re writing short stories, novels, or flash pieces in any genre, you know how crucial it is to share your work and solicit feedback. I do have one piece of advice about peer reviewing, though, and that is to finish a [...]

The Evolution of Ideas


It is a simple thing, visions of what may happen if only I had the will, courage and creativity to form the thing with words. It boils down to time, it seems, and the ability to glue oneself to a chair and dexterously reach for the same keys we press every day. It grows in the most peculiar [...]

Why Authors Should Read & Write Short Stories


From Joyce’s “The Dead” and Carver’s “Cathedral” to the anxiously-written “The Swimmer” by Cheever, short stories are one style of writing I’m more familiar with than most. Partly due to schooling and the ease of teaching the short story in a [...]

How To Write A Book


Find a chair. To write a book you need to find a chair that is comfortable, away from distractions, and allows you to type ergonomicaly. To write that book you need an idea. How thought out of an idea? Partially, or at least a few scenes you’ve drawn out in your head. Those scenes need [...]

Why the “ABC” Lifestyle Matters


In the past I brought up the ABCs of Writing, or “Always Be Creating.” This breaks doing to staying busy, something I encourage every unproven writer with free (or unfree) time to do. I’ve begun to believe even more in these corny ABCs when my own writing has hit a few [...]

The Art of Outlining Novels


Outlining is a process pushed onto young writers (mostly college kids) from day one. Why do teachers suggest it? Because it works…sometimes. I have found that most writers have completely different approaches to “outlining.” Personally, my loyalty to the task is iffy at most, [...]

The Solaris Effect for Writers


At this point something happened that I scarcely expected: the thought that I had lost my mind calmed me down. Solaris is a novel by Stanislaw Lem, a 1972 Tarkovsky film, and a George Clooney semi-flop. The funny thing is that, at its core, Solaris is all of these things and more. *If you [...]

Why Kids Are Amazing Storytellers


I’m not envious of children. Growing up is tough and smelly, otherwise known as getting out of bed for us adults. But there’s one thing kids can do better and more natural than anyone: Tell a great story. Yes — kids have more free time and less stress on their side. They tell the [...]

Write Small, Miss Small


How much can we expect from a reader? Not much, I wager, going off of how inattentive I am when I encounter overtly complex material. The Write Small, Miss Small idea came to me for two reasons, one being The Patriot and the other from my editors. I churned out my 78,000 word sci-fi book, tidied it [...]

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