My Words Fly Up

From Screenplay to Film

I posted several months ago about how one of my students went from a short story to a screenplay, coauthoring the screenplay with a friend of hers, Mark Battle. Mark is a filmmaker, and they have now gone from screenplay to film. During the summer Mark gathered a cast and crew and a 1991 Toyota

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Writing by Committee

In one of my advanced classes, three of the four students have been in class together for a few years. The fourth student joined more than a year ago. So they are all deeply familiar with one another’s novels (as am I, of course). One of the students, Brian, has been working on a marvelous,

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Writing a Mystery

I have always loved mysteries. Maybe it’s because my favorite book when I was ten or so was Harriet the Spy. Actually, Mary Stewart’s romantic suspense novels, which a friend of my mother’s introduced me to when I was in my teens, were what really hooked me. I clearly recall walking to my local bookstore

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In the August 30, 2015, issue of the New York Times, an essay in the Magazine section caught my attention. Called “Standstill,” by Sam Anderson, it is an essay about “the political world’s obsession with the moment.” Acknowledging that modern humans weren’t the first to consider “the moment,” Anderson looks back to the Greeks to

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Editors and Authors

A writer I know complained to me about the editing on her latest book. “Too much!” she said. “The editor changed my style!” I commiserated. As H. G. Wells noted, the urge to rewrite someone else’s words can be irresistible. I always remember the advice my first boss in publishing, the woman who taught me

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Be Social


In which I blog about the days I write and the days I don’t write; about teaching about writing; about reading (which is never enough); and occasionally about music, because sometimes a three-minute song can tell as good a story as a novel.

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