Best Simile

Literary writing often flows with similes and metaphors. Also, not so literary writing. And, of course, poetry. Here is the best simile I’ve yet encountered, and it comes from the pen of a critic, not a “creative” writer: “…tombstones cried out of the earth, like teeth around a scream.” This is from John Leonard upon visiting the Jewish Cemetery in... Continue Reading

“Unrelateable” Heroes: new coinage, old problem

Are we in a new era of word coinage? Bill Morris, who publishes on-line at The Millions, thinks so. He offers “fracking,” “illliquid,” and “repurpose” among other coinages. In the following excerpt, “relateable” is a new coinage in the context of a story’s main character. It’s particularly relevant to writers concerned with how readers might respond to an “unsympathetic” (i.e.,... Continue Reading

My Love-Hate Relationship with Writing Advice

I have a spouse (roommate/compatriot/lover/best friend) who expresses strong ideas about my lack of self-promotion. I am in three critique groups, each worthy of my devotion. I have attended various writing retreats/programs (Centrum five times). I was in a masters degree writing program (UC-Davis) before blowing town. I spend several computer hours each day reading and researching about writing. And... Continue Reading

The Fiction-writing Apocalypse… Or Not?

In the Ever-Tweakable World of Writing On, If Not For, the Internet... E-publishing Division, Amazon has added another tweak: Kindle Serials, as expounded upon by Porter Anderson (on the great Jane Friedman’s blog). Home base of the discussion seems to be, “If Charles Dickens could serialize his novels, why not 21st Century writers?” And Amazon, as usual, is the provider (or... Continue Reading

Influence from Great Writers

Nathan Bransford (author, agent, media manager) asked on his blog: “Which Writers Most Influence Your Work?” It’s a short blog, but generated a great deal of response. It’s worth looking at, if you can get past the Mom and Dad and “My second-grade teacher said…” stuff, although my response slinks a bit toward that. So, here goes: At Oglethorpe University... Continue Reading