Here I blog about writing, editing, reading, books, submissions, freelancing, getting published (and rejected), journalism, revisions, life after the MFA, teaching writing, and living the writer's life. Welcome. BUT -- if you are a writer: Write first, read blogs second.




Thursday, July 23, 2009

Gold in Them There Notebooks, Part 2

As I explained yesterday, I'm randomly leafing through all the notebooks I filled during the two years I spent in an MFA program, and posting what I find.

Here, a few gems, in no particular order, from a faculty presentation.

•When writing dialogue, leave out anything the reader can intuit from previous dialogue. Stop before the reader is really ready to leave the scene.
•Change pace.
•Alternate sentence structure.
•Please leave out all the boring details and descriptions of everyday activities, such as "she got into bed," "he got in the car."
•Don't try so hard to explain things. When the writing is good, the reader will be engaged.
•Incongruity is more interesting than symmetry.

Kelly Link, author of the short story collections, Magic for Beginners and Stranger Things Happen, and winner of Nebula, Hugo, and Small Fantasy Awards

2 comments:

herding tapeworms said...

i'm a lurker on your site, but this series is so interesting that I'm coming out of the woodwork to say thanks for sharing. As always, I enjoy your insight and cogent approach to the craft.

coffeelvnmom said...

Totally going to print this out! =) I just typed "she got out of the car" today! LOL! Sometimes it's so hard to know what the reader will know, and what they won't =(