New Storyville Column is Live – Writing Dynamic Settings

My latest Storyville column is all about writing dynamic settings. I’m a big believer in grounding your work in reality, whether you write literary stories that focus on an internal monologue, or fantastic stories set in distant galaxies. I hate stories with floating heads that don’t tell me where I am. So, here are some tips on how to deliver the goods by revealing character, using all five senses, and painting with broad brush stokes so that you allow your audience to picture the setting while bringing their own history and experiences onto the stage. Hope it helps!

New Storyville Column is Live – Dissecting “Maker of Flight”

My new Storyville column is now up, and in this column, I dissect one of my favorite bits of short fiction, “Maker of Flight.” Why do I love this story? Partly because it has a sweetness at its center—it’s one of the few stories of mine I can actually read to my children. Every once in awhile they’ll quote the last line, “I wonder if the sky is still blue?” back to me and it just melts my heart. I also love it because it was the winner of the 2009 “Enter the world of Filaria” contest over at ChiZine. The contest asked you to write a flash story (under 1,000 words) that was based in the world of one of their titles, Filaria, by Brent Hayward. It’s a fantastic book, and I really enjoyed this challenge. I hope you get something out of the dissection. And pick up some ChiZine titles, they do great work over there. I also loved In the Mean Time by Paul Tremblay and Sarah Court by Craig Davidson.