First, a caveat: this is a post about the craft of fiction, and I don’t have the first clue about how to teach the craft of fiction. From my years as a high school English teacher, I could teach you how to write an essay on the symbolism found in The Great Gatsby. I could teach you the joy of diagramming a sentence. I could give you some tips on what to do when you run into an iambic pentameter in a darkened alley. But teach you about the craft of fiction? Bah. No way.
So instead of trying to teach you, I’ll simply share something fiction-crafty, something about which I am very excited.
My friend, Schmidtie, does this when she discovers something life-changing (an ergonomic garlic press, Corn Salsa from Trader Joe’s, those little mini peanut butter cups, also from Trader Joe’s). She wraps these discoveries in tissue paper, puts them in a cute paper bag, and says to me, “Here’s a little something you HAVE to try.” She shares because she knows these things will change my life. And they do.
But what if once I share this life-changing, share-worthy discovery about craft, you think, “Huh? That’s not life-changing. That’s Craft 101.” Kind of like when, just last week, Schmidtie joyfully shared her latest, brand new discovery: Goodreads! Yes, Schmidtie was ten to fifteen minutes late to the party on that one.
Maybe you’ll think the same thing of me. Maybe my new discovery will leave you bored and unimpressed, and you’ll promptly email the WU Mamas and call for my demotion. Maybe in sharing my new discovery, you’ll also see I learned/stole this idea from Lisa Cron’s Wired for Story, chapter seven, pages 129-139. That’s right! I stole the idea of a fellow WU contributor!
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