Category: The Writing Life

Adventures in Titling: Part Two

When I last left you, I’d imparted some good advice: always have a back up title for your novel. So when your publisher wants to change it, you have more than a sense of desperation at your disposal. When I…

One Dog at a Time

I got my first dog, Zoe, in 2012 at a time when I was trying to finish a draft of my novel in order to apply to the Incubator program. Zoe was a good dog and a very easy puppy….

Thank You, Junior High

All my favorite books come from a “deep place of junior high trauma.”* From Harriet the Spy to The Outsiders, right on up through Rick Moody’s Purple America and Strout’s Olive Kitteridge. Picture Olive at eleven. She has huge feet….

Useful Metaphors

‘Kill your darlings,’ the writing teacher’s commandment for which this site is named, is a most useful and robust metaphor. It doesn’t just tell writers to mistrust themselves when they become especially enamored of a bit of their writing, but…

Adventures in Titling: Part One

When I tell people that coming up with a title for my book rates just above a drilling session at the dentist they look at me like I’m crazy. “Really?” they say. “The title?” I hear what they’re thinking. Creating…