Ten Questions

I am asked, "A book begins as an idea in the writer’s imagination. Eventually, this grain of sand turns into a pearl. What was the grain of sand that fired your imagination?" I respond: Orwellian signs in the DC Metro: “IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING.” See what, exactly? Commuters staring empty-eyed at phones while … Continue reading Ten Questions

Revising for Backstory

Emotion How does a writer revise an old manuscript? Skim the surface line-editing a well-worn draft? I suppose there’s a method for every problem. What if the problem is an absence of feeling and emotion? In this case the problem demanded the author talk himself to the solution. I sat down and wrote to myself: … Continue reading Revising for Backstory

In the Pathless Woods: Revising

Three years after writing a novel called The Fortress for my eight-year-old son, I’m taking on the fourth revision. It's got a new title, In the Pathless Woods, inspired by Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, the 18th century narrative poem by George Gordon, Lord Byron. Byron's verse replaces a simple placeholder I'd inserted at the time, filler … Continue reading In the Pathless Woods: Revising

Lit Mag Guy

End of last year  I offered to help produce a school literary magazine, figuring I might be useful editing the 80 or so submissions. Yesterday I learned the organizers really need someone to pull the issue together, format it, give it that polished look. Why'd they turn to me? My inexperience coupled with their tight … Continue reading Lit Mag Guy

Writing is physical

...and sometimes writing's purely physical, like when you're in the middle of editing copy in Word from a comfortable, seated position and you find yourself needing to hand-write a note, but that's got to be done in the specific place where you organize all the notes pertaining to the next draft you have planned, but you realize you've left … Continue reading Writing is physical