short stories

A Process Post

I’ve been thinking about length a lot. Or numbers, maybe. The number of words in something and how thinking of the number of words in something changes our entire approach to it. It’s just a number, the number of words you put down, and it shifts process. I don’t know why this seems like such a big deal to me, but it does.

When I approach the process of writing a novel, I am slow. It is slow. I take my time. After all, what should be the rush if it will take me months, if not years, to complete? Why hurry to write one page if this one page is a mere fraction of what there is to write? Why rush if this one page will likely be cut in the end? Novels require patience.


Craft Notes / 8 Comments
October 6th, 2011 / 11:54 am

dull, humourless, uptight, inhibited, mindless, depressing, boring and swaggering

1. Amazing Herzog interview in GQ. You should read this:

I’ve always been suspicious. I don’t even look into my face. I shaved this morning, and I look at my cheeks so that I don’t cut myself, but I don’t even want to know the color of my eyes. I think psychology and self-reflection is one of the major catastrophes of the twentieth century. A major, major mistake. And it’s only one of the mistakes of the twentieth century, which makes me think that the twentieth century in its entirety was a mistake.

If an actor knows how to milk a cow, I always know it will not be difficult to be in business with him.

I think there should be holy war against yoga classes.

11. Interesting thoughts on biography in this review of Avraham Shlonsky.

7. American Short Fiction short-short contest ends in 4 days. Send.

12. Photo montage of writers posing with their typewriters. What is a typewriter?

13. Cathy Day with an interesting post about linked story collections and how to teach such a thing.

What is a novel-in-stories? A linked collection? A story cycle? I find it hard to make distinctions between these terms. Instead, I think of it this way: On one end of the prose spectrum is the traditional linear novel. On the other end is the collection of disparate stories. Linked stories exist on the narrative spectrum between “novel” and “story collection,” and they are unique and valid formal artifacts.

Author Spotlight & Contests & Random / 18 Comments
May 11th, 2011 / 10:07 am

I go to the beach. I ask what you are reading, your ‘beach book.’ 99.4 % of the time it is a novel. Why?


smug asshole

We don’t run a lot of blind items, but it’s an available tag for posts, so… here’s a blind item.  READ MORE >

Blind Items / 88 Comments
February 8th, 2010 / 12:45 pm