Monthly Archives: July 2011

Constructing a Character’s Backstory

You can’t write a compelling character without knowing what he wants, I mean really wants, the desires so deep he won’t even speak them to his therapist. (Assuming he has a therapist.) He may, in fact, not even know these desires on any conscious level. But since I’m writing as an omniscient narrator, I for […]

Permission to Proceed Like a Nutter, Granted

Since tossing out the better part — actually, hopefully, the worse part — of my book, I’ve been regrouping. Finally reading Gogol’s stories “The Nose” and “The Overcoat,” making a new reading list (which, holy shit, Sam Lipsyte’s The Subject Steve). I felt guilty, though, that I wasn’t writing much. Then I remembered a WSJ piece […]

So. That Happened.

“When your novel is not working, it just lies there in pieces on the page, leaking vital fluids all over your desk,” says Philip Gerard in his essay, “An Architecture of Light.” My novel isn’t working, so I’m tearing it apart. More like I’m ripping its spine out, like I saw someone do at the […]

Facebook Wants You!

Everyone’s favorite social network is running a new recruitment campaign for prospective software engineers. An agency called 3Advertising put together a series of posters with the tagline, “Ship Code. Impact the world.” Have a look-see: Presumably these are scenarios that have actually happened on Facebook, and they’re all positive, life-affirming things. And I want to […]