Thursday, October 29, 2009

Gold in Them Notebooks, Part 13. Nothing unlucky here.

In this series, I'm passing on good writing advice which I recorded in notebooks while I was an MFA student.

From a nonfiction workshop:

Narrative is a compendium of modules, not necessarily just a beginning, middle, and end. It's an assembly of parts – scenes, reflection, expository, dialogue; not a chronology. You assemble them as building blocks. When considering your next revision, look for what's not on the page, where are the holes for missing blocks? And figure out, what is my comfortable length for a block – how many words or pages?

- Baron Wormser, former poet laureate of Maine, author of seven books of poetry, a memoir, and a short story collection. Baron also noted that his memoir, The Road Washes Out in Spring, was an assemblage of some 80-plus such parts.

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