Browsing All Posts filed under »Fiction«

Punks: 1a) Characters That Create Action, Characters Worth Creating

January 10, 2012

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Verboten though it is to admit in some circles, I have never liked the short fiction of American literary god Flannery O’Connor. No doubt a genius of titles (“Everything That Rises Must Converge,” etc.), but of Story? Try as I might to glean her genius even as an adult sliding toward 40, I see only […]

Sleeping with Books No. 9: A Dunce Among Us

March 6, 2011

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Thanks to a certain Irishwoman and a dinner she organized at a Prospect Heights restaurant, I met an incredible librarian who fulfilled a dream of mine last Friday. For the first time in my New York life (12 and a half years), I got a tour of the main branch of the New York Public […]

Return to the Room of My Own: Revision Unplugged

January 19, 2011

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There is something to be said for writers working in the realm of Reading 2.0 to redraw personal boundaries. I haven’t posted anything since Christmas for a damn good reason, and it’s because the Internet was too much with me. After a lovely holiday with my family in North Dakota, then three days stuck in, […]

Songs That Are Books That Like Books To Be Songs: More Thoughts on the Rock ‘n’ Roll Novel

December 17, 2010

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Back in October, I wrote a post titled “Your Band Will Never Be My Life, So I Write Fiction, Assface*” about the incredible difficulty of capturing the transportive qualities of rock music in a novel. It sparked a super-fan-kid conversation in the Comments with my librarian Toby Greenwalt, who wondered, “[A]re there any pieces of music that […]

Revision Incisions: Editing Your Novel Without Bleeding

December 6, 2010

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November: the month my head was full of dull gray noise. The inevitable result of soaking up too many sights and sounds in London and not having the time to process and put them into proper containers. In which I attended the National Book Awards and watched a personal hero, Patti Smith, take home the […]

Your Band Will Never Be My Life, So I Write Fiction, Assface*

October 15, 2010

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I was around 18 when I first read that famous quote that’s often attributed to Elvis Costello—”Writing about music is like dancing about architecture; it’s a really stupid thing to want to do.” I was likely hanging ten in my childhood bedroom, head buried in a Rolling Stone, naive to the fact that a bespectacled […]

A Timeline of Ecstatic Influence: An Addendum to Lethem

September 27, 2010

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As Lethem so definitively demonstrates, no one is complete without input—shit tons of the stuff. And yet there's something in human beings even in the 21st century that insists the things that move us be pure of history, as if charisma was a product only of the womb and not an accumulation of experience.