• This Writing Journey

    Why Write

    Why do I write? That’s something the psychiatrist asked. And I was stumped. There’s a love of world-building – like JRR Tolkien, creating Middle-Earth, replete with its races, their languages, their dwellings, the history and how everything had come to be, Sauron and the One Ring, and the way the little people, the Hobbits, could play such an instrumental part in the greatest conflict of them all. I enjoyed that – building something where nothing had previously existed, knowing that I breathed life into these characters, that I painstakingly constructed the world they inhabited, that I devised their rules of magic and law and society, that I could set characters…

  • This Writing Journey

    Dr. Fuckwit

    Whenever I run workshops on writing memoir, biography, and that sort of thing, I instruct participants to keep us mired in the moment. That means if they’re writing about an experience when they were a twelve-year-old, then all I want to see, all I want to know, is what the narrator saw and knew as that twelve-year-old. Keep the narrative as if it’s unfolding then and there. Don’t let the present-day self butt in with present-day wisdom, opinions, or reflection. That punctures the suspension of disbelief. I also always say (and stress this also in fiction workshops I run) that unless there’s a justification for it, keep events chronological. It’s…