Time now for a public service announcement from first-person-singular-pronoun policeman Bill Flanagan of VH1:
I know it sounds snobby to point this out, but in the last 10 or 15 years, millions of intelligent English-speaking people have become flummoxed by when to use “I,” and when to use “me.” You hear it all the time: READ MORE
Secrets and Contradictions
By DAVID CORBETT on nytimes.com
I know a compelling character when I encounter her on the page. Her simplicity betrays an enigmatic complexity, and her known qualities suggest unknown ones. She possesses the one thing I want most from a character: the power to make me want to know more about her.
But how to create that power? READ MORE
Don’t miss this rare opportunity to join a Lowenkopf-Lopopolo boot camp at Los Angeles Valley College in Van Nuys this Saturday, Feb 8th, 10 to 5:30 pm, (includes lunch) CLICK HERE TO REGISTER
The author of “Andrew’s Brain” and “Ragtime” sometimes puts down a book because he can see where the story’s going. “As you practice your craft, you lose your innocence as a reader.” Read More
Very often, authors will send me links to news articles on writing, and I have to admit: I’m a sucker for such articles, but I rarely comment on them.
My old friend Dave Doering sent one today, where researchers created a computer program to study stylistic similarities between books, to see if stylistic similarities can be used as predictors of success. READ MORE
From Shelly’s writing-for-hire days
Shelly Lowenkopf advises: Poetry is an important force in narrative. Writers of fiction are well advised to read poetry for cadence, concision, and the power poetry has to draw readers in. But you need to remember another important dynamic in fiction. Story rules. When style and voice ride over story, the reader comes away more bewildered and dazzled than stunned with involvement. Instead of thinking about the number of poetic beats in a line, allow the dramatic beats to come forth instead. Read Sherman Alexie’s remarkable poem, “The Elephant,” wherein you will see that this writer has not forgotten his heritage as a storyteller. Now, go you, and try to do likewise.
I love that Mark Twain and I agree. Check this out: