Write to Read

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Welcome

I have been a working writer (and teacher) for over 20 years, and in that time, I’ve come to believe that a writing life is uniquely structured to transform the soul. It will not give you the glib and easy surface of #blessed on Instagram…
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The life your writing leads

I first encountered the above James Baldwin quote as the epigraph of Dorothy Allison’s searing debut novel Bastard out of Carolina. Allison’s novel will certainly stay with you (the line “What’s a South Carolina virgin? ‘At’s a ten-year-old…
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Week Four: How novels are lived

Week four is the hardest part of this challenge. Excitement and buzz have worn off and the ending still feels miles away and possibly even pointless. And yet here it is: Everything now reduced to did I hit my goals or not. That’s why I like…
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Week Three: Detours, plots, and a poem

I’d planned spend the 3rd week of November talking about plot and conflict. Or plot and meaning. Or plot and purpose. But definitely plot. And then two things happened: one of my students wanted to quit and I had to abandon over 50,000 words…
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Week One: Questions and a Poem

Even if you are using this month to revise a finished draft, you can’t go wrong by starting with point of view.  As you sit down to write over the next few days, ask yourself: Day One:  Who is telling this story?   Day…