Archive for the 'Fictionaut Five' Category

I’m keeping a tumblr with images, text, and video from the world of Kino called Tulpendiebe – things I found researching the book, things that inspired me. One of the themes of the book is how art inspires more art, and how it wants to be shared in order to be able do that – the idea of the creative commons. So it seemed like an obvious thing to turn Kino and my research over to anybody who’d like to participate.

   Monday Chat with Gloria Mindock

Word prompts work really well for my particular brain. Give me a list of random words and I will turn it into a story. The process of creating story while working in every word is a bit like doing a jigsaw puzzle and a bit like taking an acid trip.

I would say that the written creation of a character in a novel really shouldn’t differ from the way a friendship is formed. When you meet someone for the first time, they don’t normally spill out all their backstory and how it’s relevant to the moment you both find yourselves in, not unless they’re on the way to the electric chair.

My dad once said, “If the flame burns, the writer will out,” and I believe it was George Clinton of P-Funk who said “If it don’t fit, don’t force it.” I think that somewhere between my dad’s Irish romanticism and the bottomless groove of George’s cosmo-funk there lies a kind of universal creative truth: you can’t make it happen unless you’re driven to try, but trying too hard usually isn’t the best way to make it happen.

Unlike a sighted person, I do not have the ability to skim or scan text, neither can I easily play with formatting or spacing or see how a piece lays on a page. Proofreading is also challenging as I can’t pick up things like extra spaces or punctuation errors because the speech program does not read these. The best way to imagine this is to think of holding a powerful magnifying glass over a page – you can read the print, but only a small chunk at a time.

Don’t over-privilege literal adventure in your life, such as drugs, war, and the wild side. Remember Eudora Welty’s: “A sheltered life can be a daring life as well. For all serious daring starts from within.”

Bobbie Ann Mason‘s short stories, first published in The New Yorker, were included in her first collection of fiction, Shiloh & Other Stories which won the PEN/​Hemingway Award. Two of her books, Feather Crowns and Zigzagging Down a Wild Trail won the Southern Book Critics Circle Award. Her memoir, Clear Springs: A Family Story, was a finalist for […]

Clifford Garstang, a former international lawyer, earned his MFA from Queens University of Charlotte. His award-winning linked story collection, In an Uncharted Country, was published in 2009. A novel in stories, What the Zhang Boys Know, is forthcoming in 2012 from Press 53. Recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in Blackbird, Bellevue Literary Review, […]

Someone in my writing class just said “Make it up,” and I thought oh… right. It’s writing, not medicine. You can’t actually kill anybody if you get a detail wrong.

   Editor’s Eye: John Minichillo

We have this whole massive industry these days where writers work extremely hard to articulate and share their writing process, we give craft talk after craft talk until we get so sick of our “process” that we never want to write another word, and while there is much to be learned this way, I also wonder what is lost because aspiring writers don’t have to enter that difficult water by themselves.

   Monday Chat with J. Mykell Collinz
   Editor’s Eye: Meg Pokrass


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