Writing Good Dialogue

Ibsen used to say, about writing plays, that in the first draft your characters are strangers. In the second draft they are friends, and by the third they are close family.

– Charles Harris, from 9 Steps to Writing Dialogue with Rich Subtext.

Charles Harris has a lovely piece on writing dialogue that has subtext. [continue reading …]

Judge me, please!

Write reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, and your book site!

While I’m a firm advocate of leaving judgement off the yoga mat, in the publishing world, reviews by readers are essential. If you happen to read one of my books, please do me the honor of commenting about it on the book’s page at Amazon.com, [continue reading …]

And then there' the trilby

I’ve been doing a little research on James Bond for a new book (no not a spy thriller), and learned the name of the hat everyone has been wearing for the last four years: the trilby. Here’s a fun blog post about them, and why everyone shouldn’t be wearing them. Except, by the author’s critique, [continue reading …]

On the Washington Metro

a short story, by Peter Ferko

On my subway car in the Nation’s Capital, I face ahead as a man behind resists belligerent calls from a fellow passenger to release the doors and much harrumphing from my car mates. The recorded voice once again presumes cooperation as it states, “Doors closing,” while in [continue reading …]

Hardwick: Tone vs. Plot

I love the Paris Review’s interviews. Their tweets pull such juicy quotes that I want to read them all, and then the interviews are so good that I want to read all the authors’ books (which I usually haven’t).

Here’s a great answer from the interview with Elizabeth Hardwick:

I don’t have many plots [continue reading …]

the trouble with old dog/new tricks

I’m sure the intern, volunteer, or president of Integral had the best intentions trying to build a presence on twitter, but ya gotta watch for style, content, appropriateness (or perhaps this tweet’s a hack). It made me smile to think of the Swami instructing us about autocorrect, though!

[continue reading …]

You won't believe what happened next: Contentment

The hardest part, for me, of participating in the din of social media, is listening to so much cheerleading about happiness, positive change, and improvement. This roar that you are just an improvement away from everything you always wanted points to an enthusiastic disconnection from what is.

Promises or suggestions or affirmations that you’ll always [continue reading …]

History Repeating

We must confess that we cannot provide an unequivocal definition of those products from which the age takes its name, the feuilletons. They seem to have formed an uncommonly popular section of the daily newspapers, were produced by the millions, and were a major source of mental pabulum for the reader in want of culture. [continue reading …]

Sshhhhhh...

I am finally starting to see posts on Facebook that echo what I’ve been saying to the people around me, and I’m glad I’m seeing this approaching swell of sentiment: Enough!

There’s so much chatter, so much documenting, so many self-projections, so much self-marketing. I call it ‘looking at life with an exclamation point attached.’

[continue reading …]

No Problem

I love language. I love language that amazes me. I love language that surprises me.

I hate language that is imprecise. I hate language that confuses a once clear idea or combines it into something meaningless.

I know the transformation of language is inevitable, like teenagers’ rooms decaying into chaos. (The French tried to combat [continue reading …]

 

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