Warning: This isn't an in-depth, academic poetry analysis full of symbolism and themes. This is a more practical look at what E.E. Cummings' style can teach authors about writing. E.E. Cummings is well known for playing with words, putting them together in unconventional ways. He also used unusual grammar for a wonderful dramatic effect. These … Continue reading What fiction writers can learn from E.E. Cummings
The present tense is a controversial subject among writers. You’ll hear people who love it and people who vow never to read anything written with it. If you write present tense, however, you’re not keeping bad company. Haruki Murakami, John Updike, and Margaret Atwood have all written wonderfully in present tense. They’re not the only … Continue reading Should writers use the present tense?
The beginning of any novel is critically important, and it can be daunting to write one. In this series on beginnings, I’m going to dissect some of my favorite opening lines and passages, and hopefully find some strategies for starting a book. One of the best beginnings I’ve ever read is from The Windup Girl … Continue reading On beginnings: The Windup Girl and constructed chaos
A few years ago, I went to the 8th Annual National Latino Writers’ Conference, held at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque NM. It was a wonderful experience, and one I’d love to do again. It gave me an opportunity to meet other writers, celebrate my heritage, and learn about publishing. As far as … Continue reading Pros, cons, and tips for attending a small writer’s conference
Thanks to the fickle magic of Twitter, I came across a quote that seemed especially meaningful to me right now. It's from my favorite literary badass, Junot Díaz. Díaz spent ten years writing the book that would eventually win him the Pulitzer Prize. This quote makes me wonder if there was a moment, or many … Continue reading When there is no hope, you write anyway