Pamela Erens is a graduate of Philips Exeter Academy and Yale University and the recipient of a 2014 fellowship from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. Reader’s Digest called her One of 23 Contemporary Writers You Should Have Read by Now. Her short fiction, reviews, and essays have appeared in many publications, including the Boston Review, the New England Review, and Tin House. A former editor at Glamour magazine, her sharp, tender, evocative prose has earned her comparisons to such literary luminaries as Vladimir Nabakov, Edith Wharton, James Salter, Knut Hamsun, and Samuel Beckett. Read More →
With your first sentence, you want to give your readers a good taste of what’s to come in your novel. With the last, a satisfying finish that reflects the whole. Sometimes, it works. Other times, not so much.
This week, we focus on how sentences can make or break writers. Plus, a grammar lesson for those of us who still need help.
I had planned to write an instructional post on the use of spreadsheets in writing a novel, but life happened this week. Right after the deadline for this post got moved up, my whippets decided that this was the perfect time to wage a war, or more specifically, my younger male whippet, Zephyr, decided it was time to beat up my older female whippet, Zoe. He attacked her repeatedly last week, leaving her cowering near the front door, begging to be let out of the house. The next four days were incredibly stressful. I got little done. I hovered over them waiting for the next attack. I called a dog trainer friend of mine in a panic. I thought horrible thoughts of what would happen if they never got along again. Read More →
By Rob Wilstein
If you were unfortunate enough to miss Craft on Draft’s inaugural event in April, here’s your chance to get in on the Coolest Reading Series in the World. The event in April was a sold-out (tickets are free) fun gathering of readers and writers held at Trident Booksellers on Newbury Street, a convivial space for food, drink, and friends. Read More →
By E. B. Moore
A title says a lot about a person. If you use the wrong prefix, better watch out. Address a woman as Mrs. instead of Ms, her hackles could rise. Confuse a five star General with a General Factotum, and the stars you see won’t be on his collar. And when calling someone a queen, it had better be a woman wearing a crown.
Titles of books can be equally tricky. As Stephanie Gayle wrote in “Adventures in Titling,” changing a title can induce stomping and the need for pain-dulling drugs.
Painkillers would have helped when I had to change. In my novel, (originally, A Wager of Bones), Aaron bundles his pregnant wife Ruth and their four children into a Conestoga wagon, and against their Amish faith, joins the dreaded English heading for free land in Idaho. During the trek, they face Indian attacks, a deadly pestilence, and prejudice leading to betrayal that leaves the family alone on the trailside fighting for their lives.
In the gentlest possible way, Alice, my agent, suggested rethinking. Wager… wouldn’t give a clue to readers scanning shelves in a bookstore. I moaned. I wheedled, “Wouldn’t it inspire curiosity?” Read More →