Finding the Right Title

In the first creative writing class I ever took, we workshopped a peer’s story called, Tidal.

 

I wrote a long review of the piece describing its ebb and flow and how its two references to the sea served as a low-key motif for the stormy relationship between the two main characters.

 

It wasn’t until I referred to its title – Tidal – aloud in class that I caught onto the joke. I felt duped and thrilled at the same time.

February 14, 2018 | Ben Berman

Craft Advice

Lessons on Writing, from the Sweat Lodge

By Katrin Schumann

It wasn't until I saw the tiny opening that we were supposed to crawl through that I started to panic. I was in Mexico, just about to clamber into a sweat lodge with seven strangers. I frantically scanned their faces to see if anyone else was also realizing that this plan was clearly nutso.

Everyone seemed perfectly calm. 

February 7, 2018 | Katrin Schumann

Craft Advice The Writing Life

Sound Quality: Henriette Lazaridis on Jennifer Egan's Manhattan Beach

We've all had that moment as readers when we stumble across a sentence in a novel or essay that sings to us from the page. There are sentences we want to wrap our tongues around, that we speak aloud just to revel in their aural qualities. For each installment of this series, Henriette Lazaridis chooses a single sentence from a work of literature and shows us why it is music to our ears.

January 24, 2018 | Henriette Lazaridis

Craft Advice

News from DeadDarlings: 3 Rs of Writing Exposed

This month at the DeadDarlings offices, we looked at vulnerabilities in characters and ourselves that manifest in our fiction. Here are some common stages in crafting a novel that every writer struggles through:

Research: Finding What Drives Your Story
Jerry Whelan explains how his fascination with long-dead New England abolitionists and digging for his own ancestral roots combine in his fiction in DNA, Memory and Fiction as Magic: A True Story.

Revise: Writing Realistic Characters
Laura Roper suggests Exploring Character Through Memoir as a way to guide them to reveal themselves in direct and indirect ways, intentionally vs. unintentionally ...

January 12, 2018 | The Editors at Dead Darlings

Craft Advice The Writing Life

Top Four Writers' Phobias, and What to Do About Them in 2018

By Katrin Schumann

I write a lot about writers’ insecurities because for 99.9 percent of us, fear lurks behind the brave faces we put on. Depending on where we are in our careers, we may all be afraid of different types of failures, but these deep-seated anxieties rarely go away completely.

Most artists learn to live with fear—and some learn to use it to drive toward better work. I might even dare to say that if you don’t experience doubt or fear, you should be worried. Overconfidence usually doesn’t serve writers well.

January 3, 2018 | Katrin Schumann

Craft Advice Events The Writing Life