Any Novel Needs Mystery

A link to my piece posted by The Editorial Department

Writing Advice from Writers I Admire

(This post is regularly updated.)   Kurt Vonnegut was a favorite author of mine for years in my twenties.  Here’s his advice:  I don’t agree with his tip #8.  I don’t think he really did either, since most of his…

Book Review: Lisa Cron, Wired for Story

Writers have long been flying blind.  They have been firing off stories without having any idea what happens to them after they splash down in readers’ brains.  See my Goodreads review.

Steven Pinker’s book on Writing

Steven Pinker is a linguist and cognitive scientist who has written a number of erudite books on a wide range of topics. His latest, The Sense of Style, is about writing. I recommend it. Here’s a link to my review…

Volunteer to Teach Writing

A writer’s outlook on a piece a student is working on is likely to be quite different from a teacher’s.  Helping a kid figure out what he or she is really trying to say and how to best say it isn’t the…

Tips for Writing Memoir

Will Boast, a successful memoirist, offers some very good advice in his recent piece in Publisher’s Weekly. Here’s the link.

Book Reviews: What Are They Good For?

They are very good for something. But they’re rarely used for that purpose in big, mainstream media. A review of the latest book by a big-selling author proves the newspaper, magazine, or whatever outlet is on top of the literary…

Interview with Peter Gelfan at Savvy Authors

This interview, by award-winning novelist Dora Machado, touches on both writing and editing.  Dora is author of the Stonewiser series and The Curse Giver. Read the interview here.      

PEN America Party

Last night we were at the PEN America annual bash for new members and new books, which is really just a big cocktail party mercifully without speeches.  We talked to a number of people, one of them being a guy about…

Authentic Voice

Fiction readers are very demanding creatures. They want their made-up stories to be as close to truth as possible—sort of like vegetarian meat. If they have to pick between two gritty detective novels, one by an ex-cop and the other…