Browsing category writing tips

the chekhov cave

The Chekhov mood is that cave in which are kept all the unseen and hardly palpable treasures of Chekhov’s soul, so often beyond the reach of mere consciousness. — Constantin Stanislavski I’ve talked before about The Sister and how we’re really crushin on our Russians right now. She’s heavy on her Tolstoy and keeps reminding

a doctor’s visit. by anton chekhov.

“Tamara was lonely and she saw the devil.” Before daylight this morning I read Chekhov’s short story A Doctor’s Visit. My favourite line referenced Lermontov. I have no particular interest in Lermontov’s devil or Tamara’s seeing of it…it’s the way the sentence is structured by Chekhov that makes it so wonderful and interesting. I can’t

muck heaps and passions

“To a chemist nothing on earth is unclean. A writer must be as objective as a chemist, he must lay aside his personal subjective standpoint and must understand that muck heaps play a very respectable part in a landscape, and that the evil passions are as inherent in life as the good ones.” – Chekhov

can i get an amen?

“It is time for writers to admit that nothing in this world makes sense. Only fools and charlatans think they know and understand everything. The stupider they are, the wider they conceive their horizons to be. And if an artist decides to declare that he understands nothing of what he sees — this in itself


“I shall finish my story tomorrow or the day after, but not today, for it has exhausted me fiendishly towards the end.” – Chekhov I keep telling myself this. Going over all the famous ‘How many houses turned down J.K. Rowling’ type stories I know. They all make me feel exactly zero percent better. Chocolate


“And so in planning a story one is bound to think first about its framework: from a crowd of leading or subordinate characters one selects one person only – wife or husband; one puts him on the canvas and paints him alone, making him prominent, while the others one scatters over the canvas like small

keep it simple. stupid.

(photo via sharon montrose prints) Today’s Writing “Sheep is the gentlest things. And they can walk a fence better than any goat.” “It is much better to write small things than big ones: they are unpretentious and successful.” – Chekhov Anton tells me to keep it simple. And I feel stupid every time I read

pound for pound. from flynn.

Buffy, You know what I find exhilarating? Reading something like this: The light of our cigarettes Went and came in the gloom. Flynn: Photo Courtesy of Three Kinds of Yes It is a simile with “like” suppressed: Pound called it an equation, meaning not a redundancy, A equals A, but a generalization of unexpected exactness.

delayed reactions

“The thing to do is write something with a delayed reaction like those capsules that take an hour to melt in the stomach. In this way, it could be performed on Monday and not make them vomit until Wednesday, by which time they would not be sure who was to blame. This is the principle