The Plot Thickens. Or does it?

The Plot Thickens. Or does it?

Regarding the handling of plot and by extension, the appropriate use of outlines, the variation and adamancy among authors seem to be as varied as the recent hard-headed debates concerning the scope of the American government. When contention arises, and lines in the sand are drawn someone needs to ask, “what is the real issue here?” as well as, “do I understand you correctly?” 

The New Pulp Mentality

The New Pulp Mentality

The pulp genre has reemerged. While a modern emulation of the pulp voice is compelling, the idea of a mass market book sold cheaply once again is more so. What might be sacrificed in its more hurried composition is gained in accessibility.

Some suggest that expanding markets for independently published books heralds the collapse of literary civilization. Indeed, there are so many people wanting to be writers out there as well as a deluge of degree programs titivating their appetites (for a fee), that the editor's slush piles need to be shoveled not read these days.

Are Quotation Marks Irrelevant?

Are Quotation Marks Irrelevant?

I removed Bolaño’s Last Evenings on Earth from our kitchen bookshelf to investigate how he handled quotation marks. Kafka's short stories had been sitting right beside his, but I've been having shoulder problems so Bolaño's book was a lesser stretch. I initially read his collection six or seven years ago and had forgotten the grammar was less conventional and perhaps less representative. I began reading at a random page.

Letting Your Hero Do Their Thing

Letting Your Hero Do Their Thing

On this matter of a hero's fall, I recall sitting in the second row of a packed Public Theater screening room one Saturday evening, watching Bukowski being interviewed. At one point, while drunk, he kicked his fiancé several times and kicked her hard. All of a sudden this writer hero of mine was a nasty shit, and I left feeling confused. The author, on camera, had reacted to what he considered a personal affront but hadn’t acted as I imagined he would. 

SmartEdit and the Redundant Adverb

SmartEdit and the Redundant Adverb

I am currently applying SmartEdit to the content of my second novel in Microsoft Word and am happy with it. Today, I discovered I had used the adverb "only" sixty-seven times. That's right. Embarrassing. 'Exactly" came in a distant second with twenty-four repetitions and 'usually,' a not so shabby third, at eighteen. Granted, the narrator's voice in this book, set in the rural south, is that of an eleven-year-old boy; yet, I very much wish for him to be trusted as an astute