“Brainstorming the Novel” at BGSU

I’ll be doing a presentation on novel writing as part of BGSU’s Alumni Summer College.  I’ll discuss taking the novel from initial conception through to completed work. The presentation will feature an outline of the seven basic plots, some exercises useful for developing ideas, and some of the questions that arise when writing.  The presentation will be on June 30, at 8:30...

A Blog Hop Beginning

I was invited to a blog hop by Ann Gelder, author of Bigfoot and the Baby (http://swerveandvanish.blogspot.com), and that has given me the impetus to actually begin posting on this site. I plan to use this site to discuss aspects of writing fiction – theory, technique, and practice, as well as the practical aspects of the publishing world – through my own experiences as a writer and a teacher. I have been teaching Creative Writing for more than twenty years, and I have taught in the MFA program at Bowling Green State University for the past twelve.   I have also published three novels, with a fourth due out in the fall of 2015. My goal is to write about fiction in a way that other writers will find stimulating. I will occasionally post exercises that have led students to create compelling works of fiction. The blog hop asks for a response to a set number of questions, and I think most writers would find it helpful to answer these questions. Here are the questions. My answers below. What is the name of your character? Is s/he fictional or a historic person? When and where is the story set? What should we know about him/her? What is the main conflict? What messes up his/her life? What is the personal goal of the character? What is the title of this novel, and can we read more about it? When can we expect the book to be published? [Or: When was the book published?] My main character is Katherine Watson. She is fictional. The story is set in San José, California, in...