Packed full of the insights and perspectives of dozens of well-respected authors talking about their techniques, their personal and professional challenges, and what they teach their creative-writing students, Writers Ask is used in writing programs across the country. Especially valuable to thoughtful writers, it's also perfect for the seriously curious literary reader.
Topics in Writers Ask Issue 60: Dialogue, Structure and Pacing, Moving on to the Next Piece, Literary Fiction, Looking Back on Early Work. And you'll also get these special Focus pieces: "The All-Important First Line," by Gregory Spatz, and "Writing and Parenting: Finding a Balance," by Lisa Catherine Harper.
Because dialogue is the only time the reader hears directly from the characters without the buffer of the narrator, the spoken word becomes a great barometer for what’s happening inside a heart and mind.—Bret Anthony Johnston, interviewed by Margo Williams
I wanted him to discover what he discovers about his daughter's death in the course of the story. If he were reflecting back, then the story would begin with him already knowing everything. I wanted him to come to the information as the reader does.—Maile Meloy, interviewed by Joshua Bodwell
We've all been there: a moment when something of such import happens that the space life allows for it seems too small.—Josh Weil
Whenever you write a book, you are searching, I believe, for the invisible design. Sometimes you know it from the beginning. Sometimes it reveals itself as you’re writing. Sometimes it only reveals itself in revision. The goal, though, is to find the design that reinforces the most pressing thematic and dramatic intentions.—K.L. Cook, interviewed by Lucrecia Guerrero
You learn what a story is by reading. There are some stories and novels that leave a big stamp, that virally inhabit your consciousness.—Karen Russell, interviewed by Brian Gresko
I think that reading and writing are, at their core, acts of empathy.—Bret Anthony Johnston, interviewed by Margo Williams
A few Focus examples from earlier issues:
Monica Wood: Creating Context
K.L. Cook: A Family Theme, a Family Secret
Lee Martin: Deepening Character