Five Ways To Study Characters

I spent the past two weeks getting reacquainted with the characters for my second historical novel, BLIZZARD (still a working title). After writing the first draft over the summer, I took a break from the book to let things marinate. I’ve decided that much will be changed in the second draft. Most of the characters will retain vestiges of their former selves, but some will be changed drastically,... read more

Habits To Make, Habits To Break

My recent reading has been putting my recent writing to shame. This is completely understandable: I’m writing a first draft, and it’s a normal part of the process to “hate your work but power through” on a first draft. I’m not supposed to be crafting beautiful phrases or pulling creative descriptions out of thin air; I’m supposed to be working on the very basics of... read more

Rescue: A Puzzle

I love Anita Shreve. She writes the way I want to write: with simple language but poignant description, themes of family and relationships, and a tug-at-your-heartstrings quality. Rescue, the most recent of her books, had all of these things, and yet I found something lacking. The story follows Peter Webster, known only as Webster, from his days as a young paramedic to his life twenty years later. Fresh... read more

Taste the Words

I love good food. I love good writing. Therefore, I adore good food writing. Last week in my creative writing class, the professor passed around a short story by Jhumpa Lahiri, author of The Namesake and Unaccustomed Earth (both of which are on my to-read list). The story was called “Indian Takeout” and it described the passage of Lahiri’s family’s best-loved native foods from... read more