As we enter the lazy days of August, I’m going to (lazily) borrow some advice from two writers.
Ann Patchett recently published an essay in the Washington Post about how Snoopy influenced her as a writer. Not Snoopy’s actual writing, which wasn’t that stellar. (He began almost every story with: It was a dark and stormy night.) But Patchett drew inspiration from the bravado with which Snoopy approached writing, perched atop his doghouse with a typewriter, reminiscent of the bravado he displayed perched atop his doghouse as a World War I flying ace. Continue reading “Dog Day Advice”
Lately, I’ve been into pairings. I don’t mean matching food and drink, though a glass of rosé paired with a seafood salad makes for a perfect summer meal, and for dessert I’ve always cherished the pairing of black coffee and baklava.
No, I’ve been pairing stories—following one story with something similar.
It started with the Victorian novelist Wilkie Collins. After listening to the audiobook of The Moonstone, I went straight into the same author’s The Woman in White. The former is about the disappearance of a diamond that is not only vastly valuable but its luster waxes and wanes with the phases of the moon. The latter involves untangling dastardly machinations in a family, including discovering the origin of a woman in white who wanders through London and its environs. Continue reading “Seeing Double”
Recently, a scourge that occasionally plagues the writing community is flaring up again. It’s seductive, and infectious, and once it worms its way into a writer’s prose, it lames it, leaving it to lurch around on the page. For awhile, we thought it eradicated. But a few poorly researched articles popped up online, which got picked up by some seriously misguided souls, and together, they’re sowing confusion. Now, an outbreak of epidemic proportions looms.
The scourge’s name? “Said is Dead.”
Never heard of it? Good. Clearly you’re making solid life choices. Continue reading “Tagging Dialogue”