That Thing Called Plot

Several years ago, I was on a panel of writers that included P. T. Deutermann, author of military thrillers and other equally well-received novels. Deutermann told the audience that he begins a novel on one computer file, but when he gets stuck, he starts a second file. Before he’s finished he may be shifting back…

Creative Space

“…there was, in the rear of the house, the most delightful little nook of a study that ever afforded its snug seclusion to a scholar….” Nathaniel Hawthorne, from “The Old Manse.” The study Hawthorne describes overlooks a splendid New England landscape of orchards, rolling fields and the Concord River. Two great writers found inspiration in this…

Farewell, My Darlings

“Kill Your Darlings, kill your darlings…” Stephen King On Writing   No writer likes rejection letters, particularly the impersonal ones. But even rejection plays a part in the success of what we do. Rejections can send us back to the manuscript, to reassess and, yes, to edit and rewrite. When Absolution was turned down by…

The Alchemy of Fiction

Was your husband in Vietnam? Have you ever been to Vietnam? Is Maggie’s story your story? Did you live in New York City? Boston?   These are questions I’ve been frequently asked since Absolution was published. And no, neither my husband nor I have ever been to Vietnam. Maggie’s story is not my story. She was…