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Category Archives: Writing

Meditations on the writing process, writing tools, ruminations, and occasional postings of my own work.

on serializing stories online

by not non-fiction

The Value of Practicing in Public — Curiosity Never Killed the Writer:

And/or, as I said to myself: “Remember how, as a kid, you used to serialize all that fan-fiction on Prodigy? Wasn’t that silly?” Except for the part where people were actually reading the stories. And I actually finished them. And they actually got better as I went along.

Maybe I should give that another shot?

“People don’t really eat pizza in Montana.”

by not non-fiction

Thomas McGuane with bits like:

People don’t really eat pizza in Montana. There are no secretaries here.


I like writing that’s a bit more direct because I hope the subjects are difficult enough that they can supply all the indirection that I could possibly manage.

And also:

There comes a point where I have to declare a truce with the text or I’ll keep fooling with it forever.

Fascinating interview on NPR’s All Things Considered re: his new collection, Crow Fair. More than worth the 7 or so minutes. Go check it out.

the key for a lock that doesn’t yet exist

by not another Rob?

“Writing the first sentence of a novel, for me, is something like filing, from a blank of metal, the key for a lock that doesn’t yet exist, in a door that doesn’t yet exist, set into a wall … An impossible thing, yet I find it must be done, or at least approximately done, else nothing will follow. The white wall (once of paper, now of pixels) will only open to the right key, or at least something approximating it, as I tend to keep filing, endlessly, through the ensuing composition.”

William Gibson, The First Sentence Is a Handshake (interview in The Atlantic)

And the rest is even better than that. But this quote here was a light bulb for me. In that moment, his words described the act of writing as something very familiar to me, but also something very alien and strange and brilliantly true.

it’s… a draft

by Rob Friesel

In case you missed it elsewhere: 1.5 hours, +946 words becomes 3.5 hours, 3,021 words Plus… we call that a draft. I was closer than I thought to the end of my notes. And when I saw that, I decided to just put my head down, pour more whiskey, and finish. It certainly puts the […]