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What Is Story? A Journey of Understanding, Part 2

Like any evolving human, my perspective changes with time on some of the questions that preoccupy me. One of those that’s been changing (again) recently is my engagement with the question, “what is story?”

It’s been a long time since I fully subscribed to the Fichtean curve, or to a purely plot-based Aristotelian vision of conflict-complication-climax as the only (or even primary) definition of story

February 27, 2015 | Ron MacLean

Advice Craft Talk Different ways to learn to be a better writer Fiction monthly columnists Muse Author provoking thought

Improving Your Grammar—the Easy Way

Recently I was approached by the team over at Grammarly. Check out our tool, they said. It will help you improve your writing! People who write better earn more money!  I was skeptical. After all, I was a spelling bee champ! An English Major! Plus, as a result of my long writing career I thought I had a fairly good handle on the world of grammar

February 26, 2015 | Crystal King

Advice Craft Talk Different ways to learn to be a better writer Editing

On Shoveling: A Modest Proposal*

Studies have shown that the abstracted mind is an agile and creative mind. Scientists have found that when we distract ourselves from our work, we arrive at solutions and inspiration. The way to creativity, their experimentations suggest, lies through tasks that take us momentarily from our work and allow our minds to wander.

We might conclude, then, that New Englanders are poised to claim the title of Most Creative of Americans by virtue of the time they have been required of late to spend away from their jobs and family and recreations in order to shovel snow

February 25, 2015 | Henriette Lazaridis

Amusements Creativity The Drum writing life

Chasing Perfection in Samantha Harvey's DEAR THIEF

I took my first-ever fiction workshop with an instructor who boiled the practice of literature down to "It's about this guy...". "What is Novel? What is Story?" he asked the class (as I'm sure every instructor has asked the raw, unspoiled minds of every beginner-level workshop from time immemorial). What is it, we were invited to consider, that we answer when asked what a book is about? "Character!" he capped his dry-erase marker and dropped the proverbial mic. "Character is your everything. The rest is icing on the cake. Why aren't you writing this down?"

February 24, 2015 | The Brookline Booksmith

Craft Talk Events Fiction Novel Reading Small Press Small Press Book Club

Donner Party of Five

Check out this fabulous reading from Mark Fogarty's master scriptwriting class and while you're at it, think about deepening your craft by taking an advanced or master level class this Spring term! 

February 23, 2015 | Grub Daily

Performance Reading screenwriting

Grub instructor Ron MacLean (@RonMacLean_) is in league with Gertrude Stein #TheGrubDaily