The new JMWW is a mind-fuck. How so? It gives us an essay (“MFA my way: In Writing, As in Life, You Must Have Character“) by Christine Stewart. She drops us three rules to creating literary work that will, in her words, “…makes my heart beat faster, that promises to cast a spell over me.” This advice:
How to do this? It’s pretty simple but I see people forget these basics all the time:
1) You must have a good handle on your main character.
2) Your main character must want something.
3) Your main character must do something.
I find Stewart’s “cast a spell over me” requirements as a worthy goal for a book. I also look for this type of literature, but I respectfully disagree with Stewart’s advice on how to create such a thing. While I have certainly dropped into fictional dreams due to character development, I have also been spun into spells by glow arrangements of words. Possibly I am confused on genre. Stewart opens with a poetry group situation, but is maybe writing only about mainstream fiction? Anyway, this is why JMWW is a mind-fuck. It’s an interesting essay to place along works (see below, among others) that do not meet the character sketch, character driven, character-with-clear motivation template. This juxtaposition fascinated me, and made for a verve/swerve issue. Click.
That We Never Knew This Reaches Upward, Assists the Room Grew by Andrew Borgstrom
From Michael Palmer vs. Michael Palmer (2) by Michael Leong
Damper by Cooper Renner
Ark Codex 0-01-08 by (?)