Monday, January 5, 2009

Location, Location, Location

“...the first business of the writer must be to make us see and feel vividly what his characters see and feel.” -- John Gardner in The Art of Fiction.
Most of the stories I write are flash fiction, short pieces that tell a complete story. If you’re not familiar with this form, you can read a few of my stories here. I try to provide enough information about the setting in as few words as possible to place the reader in the story. Based on comments I received from recent submissions, I’m better at doing this now than in my early stories. I think I’m better, too, at letting the reader into the minds of my characters -- but I don't do this as well as I handle the setting. That's a goal for 2009. As an editor, I read many stories that contain superficial characters and unknown settings. I’m certain the authors know the details of the location and why the characters act as they do. Unfortunately, these writers don’t always provide enough information for the reader to experience the stories in the same way the authors do.

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