It’s the Forest, Not the Trees

Author Rebecca T. Dickson stated, “Good writing is detailed.” In one of my creative writing classes, we always took ten minutes at the beginning of the period to close our eyes, sit quietly, and listen, imagining what might be happening and envisioning scenes, incorporating what we were hearing, perhaps even smelling, then putting it on […]

Lift Every Voice: The Relationship between Music and Writing

What has rhythm, dynamics, themes and tonalities and is not a song, jazz instrumental, quartet or other musical piece? Well – it’s writing! And I’m speaking of prose as well as poetry. So if you love to sing, play an instrument, or maybe simply listen to music, be encouraged. You probably could be a writer. […]

By My Halidome! The Use and Overuse of Period Language in Historical Novels

Gentle reader, prithee tarry thou a moment in mine company, for by my troth, a tale I would fain unfold for thee. List and learn… And there you have it: gadzookery, the intemperate and/or unskillful use of archaic language. If you’re a reader of historical fiction, you’re no doubt familiar with the phenomenon. And if, […]

The Trickster, Three Nightgowns and an Escalator

Standing on the second floor, looking for the third, I saw the up-escalator wasn’t working. Couldn’t find a clerk, so I headed for the moving stairs that were coming down from third. Why should I ask for directions? The last clerk had been rude and insolent – like it was my fault she hadn’t had […]

Does Memoir Tell the Truth?

“But other people in my family have a whole different memory of what happened. You said ‘tell your truth,’ but how do I know what’s true?” Elbows planted on the table, the young woman leaned into her words while her large eyes sent out beams of light from under the rim of her straw hat. […]

Raising the Dead through Research: How an Academic Became a Novelist

Our newest blogger, Janet Hogan Chapman, debuts today. She was born in Atlanta and has lived in different areas of the city her entire life. She has a variety of life experiences: wife, mother, grandmother, physician’s assistant, caterer, costumed party character, minister, preschool teacher/director, elementary school teacher, university professor, and last but by no means least, […]

“I forgot to say Hello” – Using In Medias Res to Open a Story

  We are on our way to the hospital, Ryan’s father says. Listen to me, Son: You are not going to bleed to death. Ryan is still aware enough that his father’s words come through on the edges, like sunlight on the borders of a window shade… On the seat beside him, in between him and […]