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 […]

How To Achieve Satisfying Reversals

How do you bring a story to a believable reversal without the ending feeling tacked on? There are many kinds of stories, obviously. Some answer resolve conflicts, but not all lend themselves to closure. In literary stories we know that often dilemmas do not resolve and life goes on. But I would argue that even […]

Skill Building Workshops

You’ve written a novel but found your manuscript turned down by agents and editors? Your early readers just can’t give you fresh eyes anymore? You’re considering abandoning the thing and giving up? Usually the problems are fixable, but that implies recognizing what’s wrong. Does your story lack urgency? Is the quest muddled by competing subplots […]

The Planning You Should Do Before You Plan: The Premise, Controlling Idea, and Logical Assumptions

“Storytelling,” according to Robert McKee in Story, “is the creative demonstration of truth… Event structure is the means by which you first express, then prove your idea…without explanation.” He takes this one step further. “A story well told gives you everything you cannot get from life: meaningful emotional experience.” Okay. We’ve all read plenty of […]