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 […]

Value Trumps

Any story that involves a quest – and that is most stories – starts with a disturbing event known to writers and film-makers as the “inciting incident.” What does this event actually disturb? And why does it matter? Answering these questions requires understanding the role of “value.” First things, first. The inciting incident. What is […]

Riding Surprises in the Loire Valley

An adventure is not an adventure unless there are surprises. Right? Okay, my wife countered, but surprises don’t have to be near death experiences. Surprises can be fun discoveries. I had initially balked when she suggested arranging an “easy to moderate” five-day bike ride for our family of three in the green and rolling hills […]

There is Only One of You in All of Time

There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, claims Martha Graham, that is translated through you into action. “Because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique.” This idea – through our actions we give expression to a life force that is unique and therefore necessary […]

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 […]