Browsing category writing tips

what i’m writing. southern goth.

Archie Bishop weren’t worth half a man. Not even on a good day. On a bad day there weren’t no point to him at all. He’d sit on that stump – out by the railroad where the boys from the mountain wore the path through the woods – and just stare at you like you

an unexpected gesture

I often ask myself what makes a story work, and what makes it hold up as a story, and I have decided that it is probably some action, some gesture of a character that is unlike any other in the story, one which indicates where the real heart of the story lies. This would have

disparate images. didion.

Mother on the Moors Sandburg’s Sink Brethren Baby We tell ourselves stories in order to live. The princess is caged in the consulate. The man with the candy; will lead the children into the sea. We look for the sermon in the suicide, for the social or moral lesson in the murder of five. We

sometimes a great notion

Today someone reminded me life is beautiful. Like Paul Newman, beautiful. For most people it can be difficult not to get caught up in their own personal stories. I think this goes doubly true for writers. Those of us who write fiction spend our lives willfully creating drama and conflict, driving people to the edge

malcolm gladwell. advice to writers.

Malcolm Gladwell on The Big Think: This I think is true, not just of writers, but of anyone who is in a creative space, that you have to reverse the normal human tendency, which is to edit. So a lot of… and occasionally this is, I think, a source of a great deal of frustration


Try to learn to breathe deeply; really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell. – William Saroyan, Advice to a Young Writer On Christmas Eve I received a parcel

sometimes a hat is just a hat

Week before last I went to Wesleyan and read ‘A Good Man Is Hard to Find.’ After, I went to one of the classes where I was asked questions. There were a couple of young teachers there and one of them, an earnest type, started asking the questions. ‘Miss O’Connor,” he said, ‘why was the


We forget all too soon the things we thought we could never forget. We forget the loves and the betrayals alike, forget what we whispered and what we screamed, forgot who we were. —Joan Didion

finding your voice

The most difficult task facing a writer is to find a voice in which to tell the story. To be heard, you must find a voice. For your ideas to be accepted, for your arguments to be believed, for your work to be admired, you must find a voice. Each of you is an original.

a luminous halo

Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end. – Virginia Woolf I’m reading The Common Reader by Virginia Woolf and enjoying it a good bit but I’ll leave the expounding to clever types like Flynn.

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