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Category: Craft

Modulation: The Art of Reading to an Audience

The first reading I ever went to was by a well known writer of whose work I was a huge fan. There were three readers (I think it was in a bookstore). I found the first reader un-compelling–he read in a subdued, almost monotone voice, and I couldn’t focus on the words–let alone the story. The next participant was not much more inspiring, but I was there for reader no. 3, so I waited patiently. And then it was the third reader’s turn. And she read in the same dry,… Read more Modulation: The Art of Reading to an Audience

Work * Life * Balance (yes, again)

I’ve been thinking a lot about how I spend my time–not least because I was downsized out of my last job last August, and am spending a good part of each day working to find a new one. Unless you are pathologically social (I am not) or really brilliant at networking (I am not) this is hard work. Unpaid, hard work. It is disagreeable to me (and, I suspect, for many other people) for the same reason that book promotion is hard for me: I get creeped out by the notion of… Read more Work * Life * Balance (yes, again)

Fight Scenes: Time Dilation

I saw Interstellar last week, a hugely ambitious, very heady film about…oh, kind of everything.  The future of the human race. Striving. Time. Love. Space. Loneliness. Duplicity. Ecology. Parenthood. It’s beautiful to look at (well, Christopher Nolan) and well acted, and curiously soggy in places when Nolan attempts to be genuinely affecting.  And the dialogue is mixed so low in places that I swear I missed some important plot points (when you’re married to a sound engineer you learn to notice these things). Overall I enjoyed it, but I don’t think it… Read more Fight Scenes: Time Dilation

Blog-Hoppery

Hoppery is perhaps a word that would not be legal in Scrabble (although the NY Times crossword puzzle might permit it). Through the kind offices of the talented and astonishingly busy Jennifer Stevenson, writer, roller-derbyist, fellow Book View Café member (and a powerhouse, I might add), I’m part of this blog hop.  (I love living in the Future: I can be on tour and still be sitting cross-legged on my couch in my bathrobe.)  If you’re here, you’re quite likely from Jen’s blog, or from Katherine Eliska Kimbriel’s before that, or Laura… Read more Blog-Hoppery

Why Can’t You Just Watch the Movie?

There are two kinds of people in the world: the people who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the people who don’t. (**Rimshot**)  Among the many binary categorizations of humans, one that I run into a lot is: people who want to figure out why a story works, and people who don’t.  And these two kinds of people can really get up each other’s nose.  From my perspective, there I am, having a swell discussion about why the film we just saw worked (or didn’t), when someone… Read more Why Can’t You Just Watch the Movie?

Goodwill, The Story Needs It

There are all sorts of promises a storyteller can make to her audience, but one of the cardinal ones is, I think, “I won’t come between you and the entertainment.”  By which I mean, during a dramatic moment I won’t break the tension with silliness; I won’t ask you to believe six impossible things before you know who the characters are; I won’t present my story as intelligent and undercut it with dumb; I won’t drag you through fascinating-to-me-alone arcana and forget where I was going in telling the tale.… Read more Goodwill, The Story Needs It