Month: October 2017

  • First Notes on the Novel

    First Notes on the Novel

    According to my journals, I wrote the first notes for my novel The Holy Spirit of My Uncle’s Cojones on August 2, 1996. “No title yet,” I wrote, “but it’s about the summer of 1978.” Oh, I remember that summer; it was illicit, a little risky, and it woke me up to life. Eighteen years…

  • Fiction Writing: Getting Started

    Fiction Writing: Getting Started

    Walk down the “Writing” section of Barnes & Noble, you’ll find at least a dozen how-to books on writing fiction. I recommend three: The Art of Fiction by John Gardner; Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott; From Where You Dream by Robert Olen Butler. I’ve used all three in class. Gardner’s book is seen by…