Some links on writing

I came across a couple of links dealing with the art of writing fiction and thought I would pass them along.

Olen Steinhauer has a post on Where Characters Come From. Here is a teaser:

There are different ways of going about creating, or dealing with, fictional characters. Some writers do take them directly from reality, but like I said, I’m not that kind. In fact, I seldom really get a character until a story is completely finished.

Books on writing will tell you this is foolishness, that you should know at least your main character before writing anything. Make biographical charts! What movie star does she look like? What’s his sexual experience? Give him a hobby!

No, none of that’s for me. It’s just a waste of time.

Dave at Faith in Fiction has a post discussing density in writing:

What I want to begin chatting about is the notion of density in writing.

When I was a Nittany Lion I grew weary of writing short stories because they were just at the length where an instructor or those annoying poetry students could insist on “getting every word right.” You can “perfect” a twelve page story. You can be held accountable for every word. Not so in a novel. It was too big a beast. Too sprawling. The language wasn’t tantamount anymore. Important of course, but not perfectable.

It’s a lazy way of thinking. Lazy and, I think, wrong.

The story we write rests on every word we choose. There’s really no other way of looking at writing. If were not focusing on the words…what in the world are we looking at?

Great writing hones and focuses language. They make their sentences work for them.

Some good food for thought for you writers out there.

Kevin Holtsberry
I work in communications and public affairs. I try to squeeze in as much reading as I can while still spending time with my wife and two kids (and cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Michigan Wolverines during football season).

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