Episodia Archive

Episodia 1.16: How to Structure Your Memoir

Author: | Categories: Uncategorized 4 Comments
Sometimes memoirists can feel as if we have very few choices about our stories. Bound by truth and memory, we can often conclude there’s not much room for our creative selves to have a say. But here’s a secret—we don’t have to pin down a narrative in the order

Episodia 1.15: Revising with Sherlock

Author: | Categories: Uncategorized 3 Comments
I don’t know about you, but when I write my rough drafts, I’m staggering around in the dark. There are plot holes, dropped story lines, and unanswered questions—all the good, gnarly stuff that goes into the early part of the writing process. The key for us writers is—when the

Episodia 1.14: An Antidote to Scripted Female Friendship

Author: | Categories: Uncategorized 1 Comment
A few months ago, I wrote a post on the best bromances on television. Since then, I’ve wanted to write a similar post on female friendship, but I came up empty when I hunted for good examples. There are so many storytelling techniques that current scripted television gets right

Episodia 1.13: Embracing Your Dark Side

Author: | Categories: Uncategorized 3 Comments
Let me begin by confessing that this was not the post I wanted to write. All week, I have been working on an essay about female friendships on television. Unfortunately, my writer-self is not cooperating. You’ve had that moment—much like this one—when you sit in front of the computer

Episodia 1.12: Heroes and Villains

Author: | Categories: Uncategorized 3 Comments
Ever since I began writing this “Episodia” series, I’ve wanted to write about “Breaking Bad.” It’s a show I’ve loved from the moment Walter White and his pseudo-slacker ex-student Jesse Pinkman made their first batch of crystal meth in a rundown RV in the desert. When I first heard

Episodia 1.11: Character Differentiation

Author: | Categories: Uncategorized 2 Comments
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 Midwest. But even with a strong idea, she was

Episodia 1.10: Artistic Disappointment

Author: | Categories: Uncategorized 4 Comments
You’ve felt it before—that sinking feeling a writer gets when the project she’s been working on for months or years doesn’t meet her expectations. Your latest novel or short story doesn’t have cohesion despite your repeated attempts. You don’t get into the MFA program of your choice, or any

Episodia 1.9: Every Camp Story is a Ghost Story

Author: | Categories: Writing, Writing Advice 2 Comments
I will never, ever tire of reading about summer camp. Inspired by a recent re-reading of my favorite short story—“Brownies” by Z.Z. Packer—I spent the entire month of June in literary camp land. I started with Anton DiSclafani’s unforgettable debut The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls; then I moved on

Episodia 1.8: Bromantics

Author: | Categories: Uncategorized 2 Comments
Call it phileo, call it friendship, call it brotherly love—any way you slice it, I’m a sucker for a good bromance. After my most recent post (which dipped a toe into the treacherous territory of love triangles), I started thinking about the other kinds of love available for us

Episodia 1.7: Lost Novels and Love Triangles

Author: | Categories: Uncategorized 6 Comments
Lately I’ve been thinking about beginnings, endings, and that terribly murky time between a writer completing one project and starting another. After recently finishing a memoir, I’ve been itching to write a novel. I have a strong start to a new one—it’s always thrilling to be at the beginning of something, when all