While I get through Melville’s chapters about whale skeletons (who’s the obsessive one here? I’m pretty sure Captain Ahab isn’t the only one….), check out these links:
Writer Janet Fitch offers some excellent and smart tips about writing dialogue:
“Dialogue is only for conflict.
“It’s like a racehorse, it can’t just carry any old thing, the pots and pans and old tires. You can’t heap all your expository business on it, the meet and greet, all that yack. It’s just for the conflict between one character and another. That’s it.”
Read the rest here. (Thanks for the link, Dylan!)
Here’s the latest literary dust-up. The Paris Review, with new editors in place, has decided to “un-accept” a number of poems it had committed to publish. Such a bummer for the writers—and who knows how long those poems have been sitting around, waiting?—and sort of a tacky thing to do. Read more here on Brevity’s blog and here, on They Who Are About to Comment.
(Thanks for the links, virtually every writer on Facebook!)
From Slate, here’s a moving story about the ten-year journey of writing a novel…it’s not always pretty, but it will be familiar to many:
“Writing is hard—writers say this all the time, and I think probably only other writers believe it. But it's not nearly as hard, in my experience, as not writing.
“During my should-be-writing years, I thought about my novel all the time. Increasingly, these were not happy or satisfying thoughts. My "novel" (which had started to wear its own air quotes in my head) became something closer to enemy than lover. A person and his creative work exist in a relationship very much like a marriage: When it's good, it's very good, and when it's bad, it's ugly. And when it's been bad for a long, long time, you start to think about divorce.”
Read the rest here (thanks for the link, Annie!).