Writing group notes from the field: first-person narrator consistency 2/20/2023

Talked about the trap of writing sophisticated descriptions in stories with a first-person narrator who is unsophisticated. Dialogue and stream of consciousness style and tone should match more general descriptions such as setting. To do otherwise runs the risk of internal inconsistency and as a result, compromises believability. That is to say, the reader justContinue reading “Writing group notes from the field: first-person narrator consistency 2/20/2023”

Writing group notes from the field: Fragment writing

We discussed the power of writing fragments in a narrative to create rhythm and balance to a work. Once you know the rules you can break them without fear of criticism for doing something ‘wrong.’ There is no wrong in fiction. Regardless of whether Microsoft word gives you the terrifying colored line under your words,Continue reading “Writing group notes from the field: Fragment writing”

Avoiding ethos in a short story (or trying to)

Aristotle’s pillars of argument include ethos, pathos and logos. Ethos has to do with the credibility of the narrator. Basically if you trust what the narrator is saying, if you think the narrator matches certain ideals like honest and integrity, the narrator has a better chance of persuading you. I thought it would be funContinue reading “Avoiding ethos in a short story (or trying to)”

Reaching for increased readability in fiction writing.

I wrote this month’s Transient Visitor’s teaser tale with an eye on the science behind readability. Based on the research by Shane Snow, many great fiction writers have great scores. In my short story, Chute the Virus, I sought similar scores. My results: very good grade-level readability – about sixth grade. Note that according toContinue reading “Reaching for increased readability in fiction writing.”

Coming to Eat Gingerbread Houses near you!

A foghorn-voiced dramatist blared about a father and son trudging through a blizzard of radioactive ash. The Road played on Royce’s audio app, but only for a moment. Preservation of low iPhone battery power outweighed listening pleasure. The last three hours of the fictional Road would have to wait until he finished the real road before him.

hungry? Have some troll food.

“Weather’s shitty,” Dunbar said to his son Harwood.

“Just some fog,” Harwood said, bending over to lace up his running shoes.

“Lotta fog. Cold too,” Dunbar sniffled. A slimy mug emerged from the kitchen sink and slid into his swollen, arthritic hands. Around here, coffee didn’t wait for clean cups.

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