Literary Fiction / 4 posts found

How To Write a Character Driven by an Obsession

When setting out to write a piece of fiction, it’s likely you’ve been told to give your protagonist a singular desire. While this is good advice, I would urge you to take it a step further—what happens when your protagonist’s perhaps modest desire becomes an all-consuming obsession? (Caitlin Barasch: On Curating Our Own Personal Stories) My debut novel, aptly titled A Novel Obsession, is about an aspiring novelist named Naomi who becomes obsessed with her boyfriend’s ex, Rosemary. The more Naomi learns about Rosemary, the more her curiosity consumes her, and before she knows it, her obsessive internet stalking morphs […]

For Better or Worse: Writing About Influence in Fiction

Some of my favorite stories are stories about influence: the way people can change one another. Lord Henry Wotton—a decadent aesthete—corrupting the innocent titular character of Oscar Wilde’s 1890 novel The Picture of Dorian Gray. The sophisticated and thoroughly European Madame Merle taking naive American Isabel Archer under her wing in Henry James’ 1881 Portrait of a Lady. In each case, the story of a relationship between two people—one charismatic, one vulnerable—makes it possible to simultaneously explore personal dynamics and wider questions of morality and ideology, how “dangerous” human beings and “dangerous” ideas alike can transform us, or destroy us. […]

Caitlin Barasch: On Curating Our Own Personal Stories

Caitlin Barasch earned her BA from Colorado College and her MFA from New York University. Her work has appeared in more than a dozen publications, including Catapult, Day One, The Forge, and Hobart. A former bookseller, Caitlin currently teaches creative writing at the Writers Circle. She was born and raised in New York and now lives in Brooklyn. A Novel Obsession is her debut novel. Find her on Twitter and Instagram.  Caitlin Barasch In this post, Caitlin discusses the collaborative effort of publishing her literary novel, A Novel Obsession, her advice for others writers, and more! Name: Caitlin BaraschLiterary agent: Callie […]

Tara Isabella Burton: On Learning Something From Every Draft

Tara Isabella Burton’s debut novel, Social Creature, was named a “best book of the year” by The New York Times, Vulture, and The Guardian, and her first book of nonfiction, Strange Rites: New Religions for a Godless World, was as praised by Tim Shriver as “the most thoughtful analysis of our current spiritual crisis anywhere.” Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Granta, and more. She received a doctorate in theology from Trinity College, Oxford, where she was a Clarendon Scholar, in 2017. Find her on Twitter. Tara Isabella Burton Photo by […]
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