Tag Archives: criticism

Learning From Everybody

Megan Norris Jones

Megan Norris Jones

A while back, I got a professional critique of the first ten pages of my work-in-progress. Unlike my fellow WriteOwl Alicia, I do not have an instinctive sense of where to start a story. This particular story has started in at least six different places. Continue reading

For Nuwanda

Naomi Hawkins-Rowe

Naomi Hawkins-Rowe

If you’ve seen the movie, Dead Poets Society, than you’re familiar with John Keating1)An allusion to Geoffrey Keating or John Keats?—my vote is for the latter. The character, portrayed by the late Robin Williams. passionately reciting the words of Walt Whitman’s poem, “Oh Me! Oh Life!” The boys, of course, are all ears. Really, who wouldn’t be taken by an invitation to acknowledge one’s existence, to be a part of life, to contribute something to a world that’s decaying.2)Between NYT, Huffington Post & NPR I feel a little depressed most days. It’s a memorable scene.

The day I was hired over a decade ago to teach Continue reading

notes   [ + ]

1. An allusion to Geoffrey Keating or John Keats?—my vote is for the latter. The character, portrayed by the late Robin Williams.
2. Between NYT, Huffington Post & NPR I feel a little depressed most days.

Muse or Mule?

mule illustration 72 copyA couple of months back, while working on my first draft, I got stuck in a scene. Whenever I sat down to write, no matter how much I told myself to just “get it down and move on,” I wound up reworking that stupid scene. It was like having OCD. Part of my mulish subconscious had dug in her heels, stopping me cold, and the scene morphed into a time-sucking black hole. Normally, my internal editors limit themselves to snarky comments, but once in a while one of them takes a more direct approach—turning into a stealth puppet master and jerking me around by my strings. Continue reading

Rising From the Ashes of Revision

Megan Norris Jones

Megan Norris Jones

I’m part-way through day two of the revision retreat, and it’s been a fantastic experience so far. Our theme is “Rising From the Ashes,”–in case you were wondering about the title of this post–and we got cool phoenix T-shirts to go along with it. Continue reading

Insomniacs Anonymous 3-18-14

You’re awake. Instead of writing the Great American Novel—or even a mediocre one—you’re reading our blog. Okay, then. We offer a topic; you respond. Let your fellow writers inspire you, and return to that manuscript refreshed.

Question:  Roses and thorns: What’s the nicest thing someone has said about your writing? The meanest?