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Archive for October 2011

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Bestselling Canadian Mystery Writer Louise Penny, whose latest novel is A Trick of the Light. This interview from the archives first aired in 2010.

Today's Write The Book Prompt is to write a poem or story about an invented fad. Create a fictional trend, imagine that it has become wildly popular, and write about it.

Good luck with this exercise and please listen next week for another.

Music credits: 1) “Dreaming 1″ - John Fink; 2) “Filter” - Dorset Greens (a Vermont band featuring several former South Burlington High School students).

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New York Times Bestselling Author Mary McGarry Morris, whose latest book is Light from a Distant Star.

Today's Write The Book Prompt was inspired by the work of my guest, Mary McGarry Morris, whose latest book, Light from a Distant Star, involves eavesdropping to some extent. Whether she's listening through the walls or peering from a tree house into her neighbor's yard, Nellie Peck is guilty of eavesdropping. She discovers secrets in this way, and sometimes she sees and hears things she later wishes she hadn't seen and heard. Your writing prompt this week is to eavesdrop. Take a seat next to two strangers in a cafe or restaurant, or sit quietly with a pair of old friends, or ... wherever ... and see what people are saying to each other. Unlike similar eavesdropping exercises that we've had on this show, your task this week is not to study dialogue, but to learn how people gossip and tell each other secrets. How do their voices change? How do they protect themselves from seeming small or unkind? Do they use any form of verbal foreshadowing to add tension to the ways they share secrets? Take notes--mentally or on paper--and see if you can use what you learn in your work.

Good luck with this exercise and please listen next week for another.

Music credits: 1) “Dreaming 1″ - John Fink; 2) “Filter” - Dorset Greens (a Vermont band featuring several former South Burlington High School students).

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Interview from the archives with award-winning fiction writer, Diane Lefer.
No prompt this week. Take it easy! And then please listen next week for a new prompt...

Music credits: 1) “Dreaming 1″ - John Fink; 2) “Filter” - Dorset Greens (a Vermont band featuring several former South Burlington High School students).

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Evan Fallenberg, writer, translator and director of fiction for the Shaindy Rudoff Graduate Program in Creative Writing at Bar-Ilan University near Tel Aviv. Author of the novels Light Fell and When We Danced on Water.

Today's Write The Book Prompt was suggested by my guest, Evan Fallenberg, who says this is a good exercise for writing minor characters. When we create character, we traditionally access four methods of (direct) presentation: action, appearance, speech and thought. Take a character you know very well: yourself. Come up with one idea each, or four ideas total, that might best describe you, considering those four methods of presentation. Each one idea has to be the most perfect representation of you as a minor character, helping a reader understand the essence of who you are. How can I describe my appearance with one single idea? What action is a truly representative action of how I might behave? With speech, consider those verbal tics that we all have, and pick a perfect example. For thought, write down that thing you would think but would never dare to say. Then take the exercise a step further. Take these four ideas, and craft them into a single paragraph, introducing a character who may only be in your story for a single paragraph.

Good luck with this exercise and please listen next week for another.

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