Where to start, yeah? For this column I talk about ten powerful voices in contemporary literature that you may never have heard of before. Each one of these voices is somebody that has impressed me with their words, destroyed me with the honesty and emotion, and become a name that I will follow for the rest of my life. Head on over to see what I say about them, but here are the names anyway: Matt Bell, Tina May Hall, Craig Davidson, Holly Goddard Jones, Kyle Minor, Roxane Gay, Benjamin Percy, Lindsay Hunter, Alan Heathcock, and xTx. There’s something here for everybody, but know this: they all take risks, and they all hold nothing back.
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 now up, all about writing narrative hooks. I focus on some of the work of southern gothic author Ron Rash. How do get your audience’s attention with one line? Icebergs and red herrings, what are those? In medias res, have you heard that said before? It’s Latin. And which of these are not narrative hooks: descriptions, settings, action, dialogue, back story? One hint: all of them. Hope it helps!
My latest Storyville column over at Lit Reactor is all about writing sex scenes! What’s the difference between pornography, erotica and simply a powerful sex scene? What words should you use (and avoid)? How do you create sexual tension? Sex is a part of life, and the power it introduces into every intimate relationship will ultimately define that relationship. Hope it helps. ENJOY!
WARNING: There is frank adult language in this article, so if you are underage or sensitive, you have been warned.
My latest Storyville column over at Lit Reactor is all about endings, twisted and otherwise. What do we talk about? Beginnings, icebergs, fulfillment through resolution, to twist or not twist, deus ex machina, and caring about your characters. Hope it helps. ENJOY!
Aaaaaaaaaaaand my tenth Storyville column is now up as well. It’s all about promotion—how much is too much, what can you do on a budget, and what really works? Head on over today to find out.
My ninth Storyville column is up as well. It’s all about how to balance your life and your writing, how to find time to be creative and also be a father, a husband, a friend.
My eighth Storyville column has been up for a little bit now. It’s all about how to write a horror story, all of the elements that go into creating tension, scaring your audience, and caring about characters in distress. Enjoy!
And, now my seventh column is live up at Lit Reactor. It’s about the process of writing, what I go through when writing, editing and finishing a story. I dissect my Pushcart nominated story “Twenty Reasons to Stay and One to Leave” which was originally published at Metazen. Hope you enjoy it.
And, now my sixth column is live up at Lit Reactor. It’s about how to get an agent. Now, I don’t HAVE an agent, so keep that in mind, but I’ve gotten very close, and I’m very familiar with the process. Heck, if you have any new ideas, let me know. It’s a slow, painful process and the odds are against you, but it’s certainly possible. Let me know what you think.