where the writers are

technique | technique

bob-mustin's picture
Apr.08.2014
  If you're a writer (and you avid readers will nod at this, too), you've surely heard from agents or editors that you should begin a novel with six guns blazing and go higher from there. Or you have thirty pages to capture the reader's complete attention. Fortunately some books grow slowly,...
bob-mustin's picture
Oct.11.2013
The Writer’s Chronicle, November 2013   It’s not a clean sweep, but as far as interviews and articles go this month, The Writer’s Chronicle is focused on poets and poetry. I’m a little disappointed but not shocked, certainly. This is an academically based publication; and where do...
bob-mustin's picture
Aug.24.2013
The Son, by Philipp Meyer   Meyer has written a great, sprawling tale of Texas in The Son, and its passage from the land of Comanches and feral cattle to the Lone Star State’s version of modernity. To depict this passage, the author gives us the McCullough family,...
elizabeth-rosner's picture
Jun.17.2013
"I have been trying to figure out why writing is such a glorious experience with you and such a disappointment for me with others. It has a great deal to do with you -- kindness, intelligence, compassion -- but I also knew it was something you knew about writing that others didn't.  I came...
bob-mustin's picture
Mar.06.2012
  image via gulfwriters.org   I recently received an e-mail notifying me of a short short story contest, less than 1,000 words in length. So I searched through my files of begun-but-not-completed stories, and found a likely entry.  Boy! For a novelist, such short stories can be...
michael-seidel's picture
Sep.26.2011
Returning to being autodidactic, several weaknesses emerge from this as a practice. Motivation is always your own. There is rarely someone there cheering you on, dripping encouragement on you, pressing you to try again. You do these things for yourself. When I say you, it's me. (Does this mean we'...
bob-mustin's picture
Apr.27.2011
Of the occasional litmags I receive, The Bluestone Review proves to be the most unusual - and the most interesting. But an aside: I had been asked by writing friend Addie Davis to submit something to them, and not knowing much about the magazine, I submitted three pieces of poetry I'd written a...
bob-mustin's picture
Feb.19.2011
   Crazyhorse Litmag – Fall 2010, No. 78   I’m always curious to pick up a new litmag, if not for my personal marketing purposes, then simply to see what’s being written – and published. It’s always fun, too, to try to divine general trends the editorial staff may have for the mag, long run or...
bob-mustin's picture
Feb.11.2011
  Lord of Misrule, by Jaimy Gordon   This is one of those award-winning books (2010 National Book Award winner) that garners attention from the academic ranks and is no doubt the product of the MFA writing mill. For the most part, it works; in fact, it’s an exhilarating read, given its erudite...
kevin-arnold's picture
Feb.22.2010
The weeklong workshop I spent with Ray was at Centrum in 1980, two years after John Irving published The World According to Garp... Ray used Irving's title to explain how a writer has to take responsibility for the world he or she creates.  He said a similar phrase was the subtitle of every...