Writing Fiction / 4 posts found

Grant Ginder: On Following the Story That Wants To Be Told

Grant Ginder is the bestselling author of five novels, including The People We Hate at the Wedding and Honestly, We Meant Well. Originally from Southern California, Ginder received his MFA from NYU, where he teaches writing. He lives in Brooklyn with his husband Mac and dog Frankie. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram. Grant Ginder Photo by Peter Schottenfels In this post, Grant discusses the process of listening to his instincts in abandoning one idea for what would become his new novel, Let’s Not Do That Again, what he hopes to have achieved with the book, and more! Name: Grant […]

(Almost) Everything I Know About Writing Fiction I Learned From the Newspapers

The former Washington Post publisher Phil Graham once said that journalism is the “first rough draft of history,” and anyone who’s delved into newspaper archives in their local library knows this to be true. But perhaps journalism—and community journalism, in particular—has the potential to be a “first rough draft” of fiction. (4 Tips for Writing About Guilt in Fiction) When someone says “you can’t make this stuff up,” it’s because the strangest stuff is oftentimes true. Where else, but in the May 22, 1990, edition of the Lodi (Ca.) News-Sentinel, can you read about the fate of the Lady Flames […]

The Story of a Heel: Notes on Memoir and Fiction

When I was in high school in East Germany, a substitute teacher—not our usual boring drone, who had fallen ill—gave us an unusual homework assignment: “Write a story from your life. Let your reader know what happened and how you felt about it. Work on it over the weekend and bring it in on Monday.” (Joel Agee: On Recreating Lost Time) The class erupted into a cacophony of protest: “It’s too hard! We’re not prepared! Does it have to be true?” “It needn’t be true,” the teacher said, “but it should be believable, and it should be a story. I […]

The Four Doorways Into Story and How to Use Them to Create a Bestselling Novel

What is your favorite part of a fictional book? What part of a good book do you remember long after you’ve finished reading it? What is the most important part of a book to you? The way we answer these questions as readers often has a major influence on how we write, whether we realize it or not. (How to Love Writing a Book) Librarian Nancy Pearl has a theory she calls the Four Doorways, which states that, for readers, there are four main doorways into fiction. These doorways are story, character, setting, and language, and which one you enjoy […]
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