Guest Bloggers Archive

The Elements of Style

Author: | Categories: Writing, Writing Advice No comments
On the first day of class, my ninth grade biology teacher told us the curriculum called for us to learn science from the least abstract level to the most—biology this year, followed by chemistry, physics, and calculus. “Of course, that’s completely bogus,” he said at the end of this

Tips and Tricks: an Interview with Tom Parker

Author: | Categories: Writing 1 Comment
For today’s post, I am interviewing my long-time writing coach and mentor Tom Parker. I first met Tom at a writer’s workshop run out of University of California, Berkeley six years ago. He was the professor, and I was an overconfident young writer who needed guidance. Since then, he

Learning to Listen: an Interview with Susan Power

Author: | Categories: Writing 2 Comments
When I first started reading Susan Power’s novel, The Grass Dancer, I knew little about her. We’d met briefly through a mutual friend, and I knew that Susan had been a fellow at Radcliffe’s Bunting Institute. I also knew from her bio that she was an enrolled member of

A Day in the Life

Author: | Categories: Writing Advice No comments
I’ve worked full time and attended the MFA program at NYU full time for about eighteen months now. While I’ll certainly miss the program and all the people associated with it once I graduate in May, it’ll be something of a relief to return to my usual Monday to

When Do I Have Enough Back Story?

Author: | Categories: Writing No comments
I had a great idea for a story. The main character is a 32-year-old actor who lives in Brooklyn. He is looking for his runaway sister, and… Wait. Actor? What kind of actor? What has he been in? Did he always want to be an actor? Most actors can’t

Compassing the Truth: Language in the Historical Novel

Author: | Categories: Writing 3 Comments
  Writing a novel set in 17th Century London, I wrestle regularly with understanding my characters’ world. Have I done a good enough job comprehending their relationship to time? To daylight and darkness, to religion and mortality? I worry about getting the physical details of daily life right in

Five Books That Changed How I Think About Writing

Author: | Categories: Reading, Writing 1 Comment
The best books I’ve read haven’t just been good: they’ve changed the way I think about writing, they’ve challenged what I think a book can and should do, they’ve encouraged me to go back to older texts and read them in a new light. In short, they’ve not only

One Man’s Approach to Writing Women Characters

Author: | Categories: Writing 11 Comments
“How do you write women so well? “I think of a man, and I take away reason and accountability.” – As Good As It Gets. The above, often-cited quote about how to write female characters is quite funny, but at least for me, not true. As a man, I

Picking Up Where They Leave Off… an Interview with Randy Testa

Author: | Categories: Reading, Writing 1 Comment
Last week, I wrote about a disturbing trend I see in children’s movies. For this week’s post, I asked Randy Testa, Vice President of Education and Professional Development at Walden Media, to share some reflections on the process of adapting children’s books to screen. Randy Testa spent six years

Things I Wish I’d Always Known

Author: | Categories: Writing 2 Comments
I was teaching undergraduate creative writing last fall, and toward the end of the semester a few of my students began asking me about how, exactly, one becomes a writer. They wanted to know what classes they should take, what sorts of things they should be thinking about or