Author Archives: sdgibson

Poems as letters

From David Starkey’s excellent Creative Writing, Write a poem in the form of a letter. Richard Hugo’s book 31 Letters and 13 Dreams is a great source for these types of poems. Hugo addresses poems to close old friends and to … Continue reading

Posted in Assignments | Leave a comment

2250 Five poems

Consider these five poems. We will talk about them in more detail during class.

Posted in Examples | Leave a comment

Toward a synopsis

Answer each of the following questions. Use just one sentence in each answer. How did your protagonist get involved in the story? What conflict arises to move the novella forward? What is the broad setting of your novella? What is … Continue reading

Posted in Writing tools | Leave a comment

4420 “Gimme a Map, Please”

From Elizabeth George’s Write Away, a brief consideration of plots.

Posted in Examples | Leave a comment

Relationships and characterization

Interview at least two other characters about the main character: How well do they know him or her? What do they know about him or her that he or she does not know about themselves? Do they think of the … Continue reading

Posted in Writing tools | Leave a comment

Fiction writing techniques in a scene

Consider this excerpt from a scene in Ben Winters’s excellent The Last Policeman. After reading it, answer the following questions: What methods of characterization are used? (Can you list five?) Describe the merits of the dialogue. How does the plot begin … Continue reading

Posted in Examples | Leave a comment

4420 “Designing Suspense,” “Modulation,” and “Home Improvement”

From Benjamin Percy’s outstanding collection of essays, Thrill Me, here are “Designing Suspense” and “Modulation.” Read them carefully. We will talk about them in class. In addition, here is “Home Improvement.”

Posted in Assignments | Leave a comment