fictional writers Archive

Fictional Writer Master Class: Stop the Presses

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Rosalind Russell owes me a semester of my life. Specifically, the spring of my sophomore year in college when I spent a misguided few months taking Reporting. At the time, I told people it was because I wanted to emulate Frank Rich during his theater critic years. The truth,

Fictional Writer Master Class: Fowles and the Fiction Bender

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“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 much more than that. He’s part of a group

Fictional Writer Master Class: The Bamboozlers

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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 as The Twentieth-Novel: An Introduction by R.B. Kershner. I’ll

Fictional Writer Master Class: the King’s Men

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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 of these characters are also readable as Author Avatars

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

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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 the adage of writing what you know. Or perhaps we