Tuesday, December 6, 2011

How Can Co-Authoring Work?

Because I've co-authored two novels with Ted Dekker (Kiss, Burn), people often ask me how the collaborative process works. Isn't writing a deeply personal endeavor? Is it really possible for writers to share ownership of their "babies"?

Co-authorship isn't for just anyone, but it can and does work. These are the most common types of writing partnerships that I've encountered during my editorial career:

The Identical Twins: Both authors are equally involved in the entire process of writing, from concept to research to execution to revision to editing. They might write alternating chapters or different characters' points of view. I see this type of collaboration most often among friends who are seeking publication for the first time. This is the most rare type of partnership, though it's how many non-writers (and solo writers) think the typical co-author pair works. It's rare because such partners need to have unusual problem-solving and conflict-resolution skills--not in storytelling, but in working together. It's also rare because it's the most difficult way to get a manuscript that has "one voice."

The Visionary and the Workhorse: One author develops the big-picture concept; the other helps to flesh out the story and then puts it on paper. This type of collaboration works best for storytellers who see their stories as products for consumers rather than as works of literature. James Patterson has built an empire on his story brand, which is so well defined that he can delegate the actual storytelling to other writers. He's prolific, and perhaps he's overpublished, but he is also the leading model of profitable collaborative storytelling today. This type of partnership is also common in Christian publishing, an industry whose messengers aren't necessarily writers. It's more prevalent in non-fiction than in fiction, and yet . . . Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins, anyone?

The Yin and the Yang: Sometimes authors pair up because they each have a strong, complementary contribution to make to the storytelling. William Cutrer and Sandra Glahn's medical thrillers come to mind: Both have dramatic flair. Sandy has great writing skills and Bill has the M.D.

The Master and the Apprentice: I'm not the only novelist who got her start by writing stories with an established author. Even Ted Dekker wrote stories with Bill Bright. T. Davis Bunn wrote stories with Jeanette Oke. There are many examples. In this kind of partnership one writer submits to the other's veteran skills, even if both authors are contributing to the story as a whole.

Co-authorship isn't always a great idea. Remember House, which Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker did together? How could it not have worked? These men are smart, they're gifted, they're best-sellers. They share important values and write compatible genres. We tried the Identical Twins approach with them. It quickly fell apart, and by the time we were done with that book, everyone involved needed therapy. Why? In my opinion  Frank and Ted have incompatible creative processes. They are humble, respectful, cooperative. But the way they each create, develop, and write a story is so divergent that trying to blend the two caused almost insurmountable challenges.

If you're thinking about co-authoring a book with someone, consider these aspects before you jump in:

  • Why co-author? What is the goal of your partnership? What can you do together that you can't do solo? Make this your joint mission statement.
  • What does your creative self need to produce your best work? What does your partner need? Are your needs complementary or at odds?
  • What will your process look like?
  • How will you divide the labor? Who will "own" specific responsibilities?
  • How will you solve creative disputes when they arise? (They will arise.)
  • How will you achieve continuity of voice and style in the writing?

Co-authors out there: What partnership models have worked for you? What advice would you give to authors who are thinking about pairing up?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

How to Be an Ox-Writer

Coming July 2012
In my twenty-year editorial career, I've had the pleasure of working with some pretty amazing professional authors. I like to say that "my" authors (as if I get to claim them) have taught me everything I know about what it means to be a good storyteller. They are my models, my collective inspiration, my wise teachers. Each one has made a special contribution to my personal aspirations as a novelist.

Colleen Coble stands out with an exceptionally rare trait, and her peers will know what it is before I even name it: I don't believe there is any novelist writing today who gets as excited as Colleen does about the revision process. When I say excited I mean hovering-over-the-e-mail-in-box-while-waiting-to-hear-from-the-editors excited. Tweeting and posting and raving, "I just got my editorial letter!" excited. Devouring-the-notes-and-responding-POSITIVELY excited, sometimes with comments like, "I can't WAIT to tear this thing down and start all over again! It's going to be amazing!"


Yes, really. Most of her peers think she's crazy. Just ask them.

This week I'm editing Colleen's latest book, Tidewater Inn, the first book in her new Hope Beach series, and once again I'm deeply impressed by how her positive attitude and enthusiasm toward the revision process has transformed her tale from good to great. Having written six novels of my own, I'm aware of how hard it is not to get defensive about a manuscript that consumed months or years of creative sweat and blood. Colleen has written dozens of popular novels and could make the case that she doesn't need editorial input anymore. She could decide to ignore her editors. She could get defensive about her creative choices.

But she doesn't. So today I wanted to publicly highlight some specific qualities of Colleen's attitude that make her, and her work, such winners. It's a list I'll refer to when my next editorial letter shows up (which will be any day now):

  • My editor shares my yoke and will strengthen my efforts if I let him/her.
  • My editor wants the book to succeed as much as I do.
  • Every suggestion is worth pondering, and most are worth trying.
  • Every book is an opportunity to write a better story than the last one.
  • Good books don't write themselves, and the best creative choices are usually the ones that seem, this side of the effort, most difficult to pull off.

I'll never forget the time Colleen explained that she sees her editors as fellow oxen sharing the plow yoke with her. Two are stronger than one. Imagine my laughter when I found this passage in the King James: "Thou shalt not plow with an ox and an ass together" (Deuteronomy 22:10). I used to say to fellow editors, "Be your author's partner ox. Make sure you're not an ass." Now I say it to myself as an author: "Be an ox, not an ass." I can do this because I learned how from the strongest ox-writer of all: Colleen. Thanks, my friend.

You can learn more about Colleen and her terrific romantic-suspense novels at her website, and at the blog she co-hosts with fellow novelists Kristin Billerbeck, Diann Hunt, Denise Hunter, and Cheryl Hodde.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Do You Hide Behind What You Write?

Kay Garston “Hide Behind Truth”
Or do the words you choose to put on the page reflect the real you? I asked myself this question recently while I was reflecting on how many of us blog, tweet, write, and otherwise seek ways to be heard by the world. It’s a pretty noisy place out there where finding a voice can be difficult. The temptation, then, is to write wildly, into the extreme margins of life, where we can get attention because we’re so far “out there.” Or, on the flip side, we might write conservatively to the “largest common denominator” of an audience, because we’re afraid that real and deep honesty might alienate people. In either case, words become a shield that separate our true selves from the people we are trying to reach. That’s ironic and tragic.

It’s easy enough to put up a false front when we’re face to face with another person. How much easier it is in this techno-savvy era when we can be more verbose than ever while being more physically isolated than ever.  
I’m not trying to draw any conclusions or make any accusations with these thoughts. I’m merely sharing a question that I’ve found difficult to answer personally as a novelist. I want to be “real” without being offensive, but it’s not always possible to be both. Sometimes speaking the truth takes the courage to kick people in the pants; whether listeners will be offended is irrelevant. So these values I hold as a writer live in imperfect tension. But if I ever stop being aware of that tension, I think my words will lose their integrity.

How do you hold onto integrity when you write?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Lis Wiehl, Best-Selling Author of Waking Hours

Maybe you've seen the analyst Lis Wiehl on FOX News. Did you know she's a best-selling author? Earlier this year my publisher asked me to read Lis's latest novel, Waking Hours, and consider endorsing it. I was happy to do this for a great publishing team and a talented author with a shared fascination for supernatural things.

In just a few short chapters I completely forgot that I was supposed to read as a professional. I forgot I was ever trained as an editor. The writer part of my self read on with admiration, and Erin the reader got lost in a riveting, frightening tale. What a great book! Easiest endorsement I've ever had the pleasure of offering. So I thought you'd enjoy hearing a little bit about Waking Hours in from the source herself:

What inspired you to write Waking Hours?
I’ve so loved the experience of writing fiction—always the kind of stories I like to read, so very true to me! My Triple Threat books have been great fun, and I’m so excited about this new East Salem series. Inspiration for Waking Hours came from wanting to create strong yet fallible characters in Dani and Tommy, who have a romantic side to their serious selves, and to layer that with exploration of the major theme: good vs evil. Set that in a town named East Salem, and there you go.

How does your unique background inform your fiction writing? 
As someone who prosecuted crimes and who now works in the news, I see some heinous things. This new series explores the good and evil behind the surface of what we see. I've been so blessed that I can weave in the reality of crime-solving because of both my prosecutorial and media background. Colleagues and other professionals write to tell me that the stories feel authentic, and that’s a huge compliment. But perhaps the best praise comes from readers who say that my stories helped them understand the interworkings of a newsroom, courtroom, or law enforcement office in ways they’d never considered—entertaining them, but also granting new perspective.

What’s next for East Salem and Dani and Tommy?
Erin, I’ve been sworn to secrecy. Suffice it to say, Dani, Tommy and I are working on the plot and I’m buying the pizza as we develop it. But a little hint: their story is just beginning. Darkness Rising is set to release October 2012.

Be sure to get a copy of Waking Hours. You can learn more about Lis's other books at LisWiehlBooks.com.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Words to Motivate Your Writing

So the first week of NaNoWriMo is complete. If you don’t know what this is, it’s “National Novel Writing Month,” a wonderful community effort to encourage writers to put down a complete fifty-thousand-word novel in a single month—November. If you’re participating, one of the perks of writing with community is the encouragement you’ll get from other writers.

When the romantic notions of being a writer wear off and all that’s left behind is self-doubt, a lonely room, a totally empty bag of potato chips, and a blank page (or a trashcan full of crumpled paper balls), it becomes clear that most of us writers need plenty of encouragement to keep us going. NaNoWriMo is one great place to get it. I’m fortunate to have a family, a group of close friends, and professional colleagues who support my work and seem to have a bottomless supply of rah-rahs to keep me fueled.

Once during a down spell I complained to my friend and co-author Ted Dekker that I felt like an illegitimate writer. He said, “Don’t be selfish. Don’t withhold your stories because you don’t think they’re good enough for the world. Everyone suffers the same. It’s the author’s job to process the suffering and make sense of it on behalf of others.”

Don’t be selfish. A kick in the pants and a great motivational word rolled into one. I value this kind of inspiration more than any other.

What motivational words keep you going when your creative efforts stall? 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Are You Comfortable with the Mysteries of God?

When I set out to write my antagonist for The Baker’s Wife, Jack Mansfield, I was nervous about how people would respond to him. Though I’ve always thought the most frightening villains are the ones in whom we can see ourselves, Jack is my first bad guy who is also a Christian, a deacon, an upstanding citizen in his church and community. I feared he would offend my fine, church-going, upstanding readers.

Instead they’re saying that he’s my best villain yet. They don’t know I put some of my own worst qualities into Jack: the overwhelming need to be right about God, for example. I spent a lot of years believing (as Jack does) that if I just lived a “right” Christian life, God would bless me. Always. If I had trouble, God would point the way out of it. My faith would help me shine through the character-building trials. I would always come out on top.

photo credit: Maciek Pelc

Here’s the problem with this way of thinking:
(1)    It locks God away in a box.
(2)    It emphasizes me instead of Him.
(3)    It lacks humble awareness of my own humanity

Again and again, I am confronted with my capacity to be very, very wrong. Sometimes trouble gets the best of me. Though I cling to faith and ask God for wisdom, the best choices are not always clear. The longer I persist in my faith journey, the fewer answers I seem to have about the way God works in the world, and the more mistakes I seem to make.

And the more I have to trust Him.

At such moments a person who doesn’t want to abandon faith can make a choice: She can turn away from her own understanding and learn to get comfortable with the mysteries of God (as we are advised to do in Proverbs 3), or she can go off the deep end, as Jack did, insisting that human understanding is the pinnacle of godly living.

It sounds silly to state it that way, doesn’t it? I don’t want to be Jack. But in order not to be Jack, I have to be comfortable walking with God and admitting I don’t understand everything about Him. It’s a limitation of this life:
For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror,” Paul said. “Then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known” (1 Cor. 13:12).
Does it make you uncomfortable to admit what you don’t know about God? Why or why not?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Why I Write

Last week the National Writing Project celebrated the National Day on Writing, inviting writers around the country to blog, tweet, and pontificate on the reasons why they write. True to form I’m running about a week behind. Here are the top reasons why I write:
Christa Richert, Writing Mosaic
  1. It’s what I can do. I have a skill and I can’t imagine not using it, improving it. I like to think of God’s gifts to us as superpowers. Some people cook, some build, some lead, some teach. I write. What’s your superpower?
  2. It’s hard work that brings me joy. I always say that it’s not the writing I like so much as the finished product, the accomplishment of a job well done. I hope it also brings readers joy. What work do you do that brings joy to you?
  3. It’s how I put my beliefs on display. Writing is one way I work out my ideas, questions, doubts, and confidence about God’s work in this world he created. It’s my witness, and I hope it’s a witness that invites public discussion. How do you “talk” about your faith?
  4. Good stories inspire people to thoughtful living. I hope to write stories that fall into that category. It’s a worthy goal. What life goals do you have?

Maybe you don’t write, but you do something else that is just right for the person God made you to be. I hope you find it, love it, and do it with your whole heart.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Erin's Guest Blog at The Book Club Cookbook

Visit The Book Club Cookbook to read my answer to the question, "Why would a displaced pastor become a baker?" You can also download The Baker's Wife Readers' Guide and Peter Reinhart's mouthwatering rosemary-potato bread recipe. While you're there, fill out the form and be entered to win a free copy of The Baker's Wife. The Book Club Cookbook is giving away fifty copies! Contest ends November 17.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Hard Choices

On the wall above my desk is a tack strip bearing note cards with writing tips I've collected. There are only a few, considering how many I actually employ when I sit down to write. But these represent the ones that I've had to learn, to intentionally think about on a regular basis.
     One of them is from Philip Gerard's Writing a Book that Makes a Difference. I wrote down this passage without noting the context, which I've since forgotten: "... choices are rarely completely clear, and even doing the right thing can bring about unfortunate and unforeseen consequences." In writing I have applied this observation to thinking about my characters' life conflicts and layering them with realistic complexity.
     Recently it has struck me that the reason this principle works in fiction is because it is a true observation of real life. We Christians are taught to believe that right and wrong choices are usually black and white. And some of them are. But it seems to me that as I've grown older, the number of life choices that fall into gray areas has only increased. Some choices are less clear, and sometimes doing the right thing doesn't always lead to ideal results. 
     When I'm writing fiction, this truth makes for interesting drama. In life, it leads to a lot of heartache that can be soothed only faith in a loving and merciful God. How many times have you done "the right thing" only to face an undesirable fallout? How do you work through it?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Metaphors for Life: A Living Bridge

In my novel The Promises She Keeps, hero Chase, who has autism, associates people with trees. He sees the troubled Zack as a strangler fig, a powerful tree known for choking the life out of other trees. But he tells Zack, "You could be a stunning tree. If I were to draw for you, I would draw a Moreton Bay fig that is larger than the one in Santa Barbara, California. It would be loaded with birds and surrounded by a beautiful park that people from all over the world would come to see."

When I saw this video about how the people of Meghalaya, India, have worked with strangler figs to create a life-saving solution to a serious regional problem, I thought about Chase and Zack, and I thought about how much potential we have in our own lives to overcome evil with good. It's not possible for me to see something like this without think of it as a metaphor for the way we choose to face the troubles of life. These people have taken the long view. They work with what they are given. They are teaching it to their children. And the result is lovely.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Is My Heroine Psychic?

Today a reader wrote to me about my new novel, The Baker's Wife: "I wanted to ask about the 'gift' that Audrey has. I'm having a hard time understanding it, to be honest. Is it a psychic gift or a gift of discernment? I know that God does not give a gift of being psychic so I'm a little surprised this is in a Christian book. In many ways I know she feels she's being led by God to those who need help, but does He really work this way?"

This is such a great question. I'm grateful this reader stopped to ask it. I'm sorry that my answer must include some plot spoilers, but for some, the answer is more important than the suspense.

In all of my stories I use supernatural elements to explore the ways God works in us and through us. I intend for my stories to be read metaphorically rather than literally, though they are not true allegories. I realize not all readers are comfortable approaching a book this way.

Audrey's gift is not psychic. It is, rather, a look at empathy and compassion taken to extremes. We Christians often speak of "sharing one another's burdens," and sometimes we say this glibly without examining what we really mean. This has been true in my own life. We might help another person to the extent that we feel relieved of our Christian duty. It is more rare for us to share another person's pain to the point that we have the capacity to feel it ourselves. Audrey's tangible experience of Julie's pain is merely a metaphor for what real, deep, honest Christian empathy MIGHT look like. I think God sometimes asks us to go farther than we are comfortable going, to share a burden of pain by taking it upon ourselves, the way Christ took up the pain of the cross on our behalf, because he loved us so much, while we were yet sinners.

In the opening of The Baker's Wife, Audrey reaches out to a woman in pain, but then finds herself unable to press through a particular level of discomfort when the woman rejects her kindness. In Audrey's journey, this "mistake" (which is hardly a black-and-white moral mistake, but a spiritual challenge she lacked the courage to see through), puts her entire family at risk. As my editor put it, perhaps some of us ignore empathy for others at our own peril. Julie ultimately rejects Audrey's compassion. Not everyone will accept what we have to offer. But Audrey matures in her own ability to reach out to others, so that in the end she doesn't turn away from Julie's daughter, who needs the love of Christ as much as Julie ever did. I see this as a personal spiritual victory, and an illustration of how listening to the promptings of God, whether visceral or not, can move us to greater work on his behalf.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Rare Book School at the University of Virginia

Imagine: a school for people who love rare books. Well, it exists, and if I'd known about it during my school days I might have attended! Yesterday, NPR gave listeners just one example of why books will endure the digital age.

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Enduring Bill Cosby

Why is it that Bill Cosby’s routines never get old? I watch “Brain Damage” today and laugh harder than I did twenty years ago. (Maybe because I’m a parent now.) Here, blogger Garr Reynolds has compiled a few of Cosby’s classics, along with his recent commencement address to CMU grads, with the purpose of pointing out how enduring the power of personal narrative can be. Reynolds’ bottom line: funny or not everyone has personal stories worth telling.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

New Tales for Old History

When my family and I took a vacation to southwestern Colorado last month, some of the practiced tour guides were as captivating as the sites. They taught us how to mine for gold with dynamite, showed us the house in which Larry Byrd built (make that blasted) a wine cellar out of granite, and took us on the train responsible for reintroducing big horn sheep to the region. They prevented an hour-and-a-half trek up the mountainside from feeling like the week-long haul that it was before the highway was built. Even my 13-year-old was engaged, educated, and amused.

With this experience fresh in my mind, this story about Scotland’s efforts “to train young tour guides in the art of storytelling” caught my attention. What I loved most were these words:
David Hicks, from the Edinburgh World Heritage Trust, said that teenage tour leaders could offer a new perspective on the city’s 900 years of history. He said: ‘In a historic city like Edinburgh guides are telling stories about it on a daily basis, since as far back as the 1840s, so you end up getting a set story. I think the really important thing is it’s got 900 years of history and you don’t have to stick to the standard tales I’m hoping these young people can unearth something or ask a question about something that’s right under our noses. It’s good to look these things with fresh eyes.’”
One of our guides in Colorado was a college student. Rather than talking at us over a microphone, he mingled one-on-one with passengers in our train car. Toward the end of the three-plus-hour journey, he and I talked for a half hour about his life in the area and his local activities as an outdoorsman, student, and photographer. He’s about to embark on a year-long trek to Argentina, where he’s made arrangements to work on a small farm. It was a change of pace from the more traditional memorized stories and canned jokes, better in some ways if lacking in others, but I was glad to have met him and caught a glimpse of his home—from his perspective.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

These Video Storytellers WANT to Be Stranded

Who doesn't like to tell stories of being stuck at an airport? Less than two weeks ago it took me almost twenty-four hours to complete a short flight, and I can’t stop talking about it. So, imagine being confined to an airport for EIGHTY DAYS. Not even Tom Hanks could do it with a smile. And yet, in perhaps one of the most unusual video-storytelling contests I’ve ever seen, residents of British Columbia are being invited to do just that. To celebrate their eightieth anniversary, the YVR airport (Vancouver) will invite the winner to stay at their “island” for two and a half months, documenting airport life through video story. The catch: this storyteller will not be allowed to leave until the eighty days expire. Will it be riveting? Or will it be hell?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Do Online Book Clubs Work?

Do you participate in a social-network reading group? Here are ten of the myriad virtual reading tribes populating the web today. I’ve looked into some of these and even have a profile on Goodreads, but for me, nothing beats my live, once-a-month outing with good friends to talk about the stories we’re reading. It happens that we are all professional editors and writers, so a passion for reading runs deep, as does our friendship. It’s difficult for me to imagine replicating that online, but perhaps it’s possible. Tell me what makes book-based social-network groups work (or not) for you.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Not Perfect, Just Persistent

The price of writing for a living is “the price of never really being able to tell where you stand.” That brief statement in this article about novelist Craig Nova (The Good Son, The Informer) caught my eye. In my experience as an editor and novelist, most authors share this insecurity about the worthiness of their efforts. Not all of us are as devoted to exceeding our previous day’s efforts, day in and day out, especially after discovering that our creative choices are “wrong so much of the time.” So, when any author by patience and persistence and commitment to excellence produces “a body of work that will endure,” as a writer I am inspired to keep trying. What inspires you in your craft?

Friday, July 1, 2011

Story Hunting

I first learned about geocaching when Colleen Coble used it as a device in her thriller Abomination. And though I’ve never done it myself (I like my cozy indoor environments, thank you very much), the concept of finding treasures and then leaving behind new treasures for others to find intrigues me. Especially if it’s going to involve sharing story treasures, as this recent geocaching event in the Waterloo region of Canada did, at the Latitudes Storytelling Festival. Would you go treasure hunting for a good story somewhere other than your library?

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Ira Glass on the Building Blocks of Story

Any fans of This American Life out there? (Yes!) Producer  Ira Glass made this four-part video series on the basics of broadcast storytelling in 2009, but the principles are timeless.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Creative Writing for Physicians

Recently in Canada, some physicians completing their professional development requirements engaged in a creative writing exercise, described here by participant Dr. Erica Weir. The goal of the activity was to refresh the doctors’ empathy for their patients. “Storytelling in this context,” Dr. Weir wrote, “exercises one’s moral imagination to suspend one’s own beliefs in order to empathize with another’s perspective.” Using a non-fictional case study, participants wrote imagined dialog, fictional medical transcripts, a patient-perspective journal entry, and poetry—with fascinating results. “Translating statistics into stories through continuing professional development exercises such as this creates touchstones for doctors to rest and reflect upon at the busy intersections where art and science meet,” Dr. Weir says. "By pausing and putting pen to paper to imagine a story from another’s perspective, we hold up a mirror that casts a refreshing reflection of not only what is, but also what should be.” Indeed, stories that transcend their artistic qualities and improve the human condition, physically and otherwise, are singularly admirable.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The YA Fiction Kerfuffle

If you’ve been paying attention to the Wall Street Journal and National Public Radio (among others) this month, you’re aware that critics, reviewers, authors, and parents are in a heated debate over the state of young adult fiction. It’s too dark of late, wrote columnist and mother Meghan Cox Gurdon in the article that sparked the conversation. Difficult, controversial, and even morbid topics are delivered in shocking detail, capable of shaping young persons’ worldviews in negative ways. Others, such as author Sherman Alexie (The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian) make well-articulated arguments that gritty, well-written stories save lives, and that most young adults read with the noblest of intentions. Gurdon had the opportunity to respond in a panel discussion on the topic hosted by NPR. What do you think, parents and readers? Are such “dark” books dangerous or necessary, or perhaps a little of both?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Kids Books—Now We Call Them “Apps”

digital version & app

I don’t have an iPad. Yet. But my two-year-old is a whiz with his Sony V-Reader, so I imagine an iPad is in our future. Media Bistro has started a list of classic children’s books now available for the iPad and has asked readers to contribute their favorites. Also, they noted that Dr. Seuss’s Oh, the Thinks You Can Think is now available digitally. I’ll keep reading that one the old-fashioned way for now. There’s nothing quite like a preschooler walking around the house sing-songing, “Oh, the thinks you can think!” Do your kids read electronically?

Friday, June 24, 2011

A Question of Resolution

The TV series The Killing didn’t solve the central murder by the end of its first series. This article asks how upset viewers were by that lack of resolution. Critics pooh-poohed the storytelling decision. I love the lure and tease of unresolved storylines in my TV shows, but if they go unresolved for too long, I get impatient. I think my limit is about three seasons. What’s yours?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

This Guitar Is a Storybook

Each bit of Doug Larson’s remarkable 3,562-piece hand-crafted guitar has a story behind it. Read them in Storyteller Guitar.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Jack London’s Picture Stories

photo credit website

Jack London, “prolific photographer”? Who knew? This lovely book shows how “his photography and writing bolster each other.”

Monday, June 20, 2011

Friday, June 17, 2011


Is this a  story? Only if you participate in it. What kind of a story is it? That depends on you. Watch this interactive “film for computer” by Vincent Morisset. Try not to get lost in it, then come back here and tell me what you think.
A still featuring the main character in "Bla Bla,"
a new interactive film by Vincent Morriset.