Writing Philosophy

Scott Driscoll Blogs… After asking what I did for a living, the cashier at a grocery store I frequented gave me a confused look and said, “Oh, you teach fiction? What’s that? Is that, like, making stuff up?” There was no line—it was late, after class—so I told her the following story. One sweltering Sunday […]

Turning Points

Stories aim at turning points. They climb out on the ledge to the point of greatest risk. That point beyond which there is no going back. They push dreams to extremes and hold guns to value’ heads and neatly wrap up in reversals that fade into a new dawn. So satisfying. And isn’t it like […]

Facing Tests

“We know ourselves only insofar as we have been tested.” This is a quote from a Polish poet, Wislawa Szymborska. [The Write On The River Conference in Wenatchee this weekend features Jess Walters as a keynote speaker. I am teaching a workshop on Saturday, May 17 about situation set up in short stories, or, to […]

A Radio Chat

Check out this interview with book reviewer and talk show host Donna Seebo on PWRNetwork Radio (see announcement below). This book world is full of surprises. Today, the day after doing this interview, I received notification that my debut novel, Better You Go Home, has won Foreword Reviews quarterly first book competition along with a […]

Conflict as Gap

Stories begin when an event disturbs the balance of forces in a character’s familiar world. Each event that follows directs the character’s conscious desire on a quest toward a goal that should, if achieved, resolve the disturbance. This Saturday afternoon, Feb 22nd, 4:00 PM at Village Books in Bellingham, WA (1200 11th Street, 98225 / […]

Fact or Fiction

Fact or fiction: does the distinction matter? If we think it doesn’t matter, does that make us crazy? How real is the distinction? In my novel, Better You Go Home, I describe young Rosalye as tall, thin, with “razor” eyes and breasts like lively colts. Of course, I never laid eyes on this person. Was […]