Tag Archives: characters

Fictional Writer Master Class: Fowles and the Fiction Bender

“But rather, what the devil am I going to do with you?” In John Fowles’s The French Lieutenant’s Woman, the unnamed narrator poses this question to himself about the character sleeping before him. Only he isn’t just the narrator; he’s … Continue reading

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Fictional Writer Master Class: The Bamboozlers

One of the perks of working in academia is ordering desk copies of books. While more often than not these things are tedious tomes that would put me to sleep, never mind my students, sometimes I happen upon gems, such … Continue reading

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Fictional Writer Master Class: the King’s Men

Stephen King has a particular knack for fictionalizing the tortured lives of writers. Scribes of varied success people the pages of his works, from protagonists to supporting characters. (Under the Dome’s Thurston Marshall is a recent Ploughshares guest editor!) Many … Continue reading

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Fictional Writer Master Class: The Wisdom of J.B. Fletcher

Writers love to create writer characters, so much so that fictional writers are their own sub-character set. Maybe it’s because we understand the torture of the artistic monkey better than anything else; creating fictional writers is one way of following … Continue reading

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The Revenge Society

A few weeks ago, I was furious at someone on a level normally reserved for politics. For about three days I didn’t know how to defuse my anger; I just complained and ranted to any poor person who came within … Continue reading

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Episodia 1.11: Character Differentiation

During the first creative writing class I ever taught, a student approached me with a particular challenge. She had a wonderful premise for a novel that revolved around a pack of women who worked in a 1970s factory in the … Continue reading

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From the Slush Pile: Speak to Me

In his introduction to the most recent issue of Ploughshares, guest editor Peter Ho Davies says that the thrill he found in each selected story was the sense that it spoke to him alone.  But how do you make that happen? We’ve … Continue reading

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Writing Lessons: Rose Waldman

In our Writing Lessons series, writing students will discuss lessons learned, epiphanies about craft, and the challenges of studying writing. This week, we hear from Rose Waldman, a student in the MFA program at Columbia University. —Andrew Ladd, Blog Editor … Continue reading

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The Myth of the Literary Cowboy, Part 6: Save a Horse, Write a (Space) Cowboy

Over the past few months, the Myth of the Literary Cowboy has explored how and why Willie was spot on when he observed that our “heroes have always been cowboys.“ White hats, singers, anti-hero gunslingers, poets, pop music subjects—the role of the … Continue reading

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The Myth of the Literary Cowboy, Part 3: Golden Years

When I was an undergrad, I was constantly debating my Comp II nemesis, a film major who would say things like, “Americans didn’t really start making films until the 1970s.” Yes, he was that guy. Once during a film and … Continue reading

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