ARCHIVE FOR Craft Advice

The Importance of Flexible Thinking

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In this post, GrubStreet instructor Ben Berman discusses how learning to think flexibly can help us be more creative.

 

 

Flexible thinking refers to our ability to shift or reframe how we are thinking about an idea.

When psychologists measure one’s aptitude for creativity, they often focus on this aspect of thinking. How many uses can you find for a brick? they ask, before grading the responses based on fluency, originality, flexibility and elaboration.

August 14, 2019 | Ben Berman

Craft Advice The Writing Life

How to Survive Writing a Book: The Rollercoaster of Engagement

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By Katrin Schumann

 

I’ve always loved to dive in and re-vamp a space. Each project starts with enormous energy and hope. I’m excited by all that I can achieve with just a little energy, imagination and hard work—and the price of a gallon of paint.

It recently occurred to me that writing a first draft is not unlike revitalizing a room

August 7, 2019 | Katrin Schumann

Books & Reading Craft Advice The Writing Life

How Form and Content Work Together

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In this post, GrubStreet Instructor Ben Berman discusses the importance of attending to both form and content when composing and reading poems.

 

 

The other day I asked my eight-year-old what would be the first thing that she would buy if she had her own money. I’m not sure, she said, but it definitely wouldn’t be anything made out of plastic because that’s bad for the earth, and I think I’d want something that would keep me healthy.

July 10, 2019 | Ben Berman

Craft Advice

Rules for Writing Good Fiction

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By Katrin Schumann

In the most recent New Yorker, Teddy Wayne wrote an article called “Eight Rules for Writing Fiction.” Wayne has written three novels (one which has been optioned by HBO) and Kirkus Reviews said of him: “A spectacular stylist, Wayne is deeply empathetic toward his characters, but—brutally and brilliantly—he refuses to either defend or excuse them.” 

July 3, 2019 | Katrin Schumann

Books & Reading Craft Advice The Writing Life

How to Know When to Quit Your Novel

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By Katrin Schumann

Last year, I was thinking a lot about this question as it relates to writing: When is it okay to give in and give up?

Why? Because in the months before publishers began showing interest in my novel, The Forgotten Hours, I had seriously been considering changing careers and giving up writing altogether. This was a huge deal for me since I basically can’t do anything else (at least not well, and with enthusiasm).

June 5, 2019 | Katrin Schumann

Books & Reading Craft Advice The Writing Life