Suspend Your Disbelief

Get Writing

Get Writing |

Writing the Novel You Don’t Want to Write

“Writing a novel—for me, at least—is like answering a craigslist ad placed by a group of people seeking a roommate. You meet them; you like them; you move in; but within a short period of time, all of them have moved out, and new people have moved in, and these new people, it turns out, are the ones you’re going to live with for the next few years.”

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Get Writing: Just That I Love It

In the illuminating introduction to her Selected Stories, Alice Munro considers the recurring setting of her fiction: “The reason I write so often about the country to the east of Lake Huron is just that I love it.” She goes on to describe how memories of particular images from that geography will motivate her stories in their earliest, most daydreamy forms. For instance, Munro describes the image of “snow falling straight down” that served as the seed of a story. In its finished form, there’s no reference to that image, no trace for the reader to dwell on, but all […]

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Get Writing: Stolen-Form Stories

As part of our teaching theme this month, we’re sharing some of our favorite exercises in our “Get Writing” series for classroom (or personal) use. Enjoy! Last week, Michael Rudin suggested that stealing a first line can help you overcome that new-story inertia. Here’s another larcenous twist: instead of stealing a line, steal a form. For this exercise, write a story in the form of some other piece of writing—a grocery list, an obituary, a set of instructions, liner notes, the back of a cereal box, a help wanted ad, a press release, a weather forecast… The less literary, the […]