Author Archives: sdgibson
The Face in the Frost
Consider what we can learn from the first paragraph of the first chapter of John Bellairs’s The Face in the Frost. Here it is: Several centuries (or so) ago, in a country whose name doesn’t matter, there was a tall, skinny, … Continue reading
Including alternative/opposing solutions
To include alternative/opposing solutions, consider this template. Write something like: In sharp contrast with [restate/paraphrase your proposal’s solution or most recent reason], [introduce a source that actually disagrees with your solution or that states an alternative solution using an attributive … Continue reading
We don’t create . . . to escape . . .
We don’t create a fantasy world to escape reality, we create it to be able to stay. ~Lynda Barry
Work to be influenced
[F]or the practicing artist influence requires a more active engagement. We must work to be influenced, not merely wait. ~ Margot Livesay
You have to finish things . . .
You have to finish things — you learn by finishing things. ~Neil Gaiman
Is it fiction? Is it interesting? Will the reader want to begin the story? Will the reader want to finish the story? Is the author’s discipline evident in the editing? Is it a finished product? ~Unknown
The writing has to stand for itself
If the writing is unclear, we’ll read it a second time and make it clear to ourselves and then let the writer off the hook, when, in fact, the writing has to stand for itself . . . You want … Continue reading
What we expect
[It] does what we expect the work of our best writers to do: reflect our world from a surprising perspective so that we might better see its beauty and contradictions, it comforts and aches. ~Paul Temblay
Fiction is the art form of human yearning
Fiction is the art form of human yearning. That is absolutely essential to any work of fictional narrative art—a character who yearns. And that is not the same as a character who simply has problems. . . . The yearning … Continue reading
To describe the world . . .
To describe the world more fully is to change it. To let the world go undescribed is, in some way, not to know it, at one’s own peril. ~Elif Batumann