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MuseWorthy: Chuck Palahniuk

Already excited about The Muse and the Marketplace 2015? We are, too! Every few weeks we'll feature fabulous moments from Muses past. Here's one of our favorites, Chuck Palahniuk's keynote at Muse 2010. Get psyched with us!


News From the Muse

Because It’s Not Called Storyshowing: Why Your Fiction Should Tell

The following is a craft essay based on "Because It’s Not Called Storyshowing", Dawn Dorland Perry's craft talk at Muse 2014.


Writers are often admonished to show, don’t tell.  Same for me in my many years of workshopping fiction.  Hell no would I write psychologizing, mansplainy stories that patted your head with a moral, or imposed interpretation, or told you how to feel.  Like Hemingway, I aspired to lay the truth spare and bare.  A description of hills would be charged with conflict.  A euphemism would devastate through its mere repetition.  No ...

Dawn Dorland

Craft Advice

Narrative as Time Machine: Five Tools for World Building in Historical Fiction Part 2

Here's part 2 of an essay based on Presenter Tim Weed's fabulous craft talk at Muse 2014. Missed part 1? No problem! Just click here.


World Building Tool #4: Defamiliarization

Defamiliarization is a critical tool for all fiction writers, but especially for those writing historical fiction, where the risk of falling into clichés is particularly acute. Consider this passage from Michael Ondaatje’s The English Patient:

“The last mediaeval war was fought in Italy in 1943 and 1944. Fortress towns and great promontories which had been battled over since the eighth century had the armies of new kings ...

Timothy Weed

Narrative as Time Machine: Five Tools for World Building in Historical Fiction Part 1

Here's part 1 of an essay based on Presenter Tim Weed's fabulous talk at Muse 2014:

Consider the opening paragraph of Mary Renault’s classic novel, The King Must Die:

“The Citadel of Troizen, where the Palace stands, was built by giants before anyone remembers. But the Palace was built by my great-grandfather. At sunrise, if you look at it from Kalauria across the strait, the columns glow fire-red and the walls are golden. It shines bright against the dark woods on the mountainside.”

Timothy Weed

News From the Muse

“Throw the Bum Out!”

By Robert Arellano 

"And so I hasten to give back my entrance ticket, and if I am an honest man I am bound to give it back as soon as possible. And that I am doing. It's not God that I don't accept, Alyosha, only I most respectfully return him the ticket." — Ivan in Book V, Chapter 4 of The Brothers Karamazov.

It was an oversized “Wally cap,” so-called after the Red Sox’s green-monster mascot, that got snatched off a little boy’s head in front of the Granstand 12 hot-dog concession at Fenway Park on the ...

Robert Arellano

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