Write the Book's 351st episode (!) introduces Shelagh's new co-host, Gary Lee Miller, in an interview with Vermont author Sean Prentiss about his new book, Finding Abbey: The Search for Edward Abbey and His Hidden Desert Grave, published by University of New Mexico Press.
Sean Prentiss generously shared two Write the Book Prompts with Gary during their interview. The first is this:
Find a piece of writing you love. Study it. What is the
tone? What is the shape on the page? What is the title? How much dialogue is
used? How are characters developed? What is the theme? Once you’ve studied the
piece, then try to emulate it. Write
your own piece that mirrors or learns from the piece you love. Allow yourself
to follow the original, but also to meander where you need.
The second prompt for this week focuses on beginning and endings. If you have a
draft of an essay, story or poem that you like but find yourself stuck with the
beginning or ending, go ahead and add a second beginning or ending. Just tack
it right on. Maybe start or end your piece with an overt idea, or start or end
your piece with a scene that moves us to some new place or time. Or start with a
powerful metaphoric image. This can be just the kind of writing play you need to
get you where you want to go.
Good luck with these exercises, and listen next week for another.
Music credits: I Could Write a Book by the Boston-based band, Possum.
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Two Interviews: Jojo Moyes, author of One Plus One, published by Pamela Dorman Books, a Viking imprint; and Heath Hardage Lee, author of Winnie Davis: Daughter of the Lost Cause, published by Potomac Books, An Imprint of the University of Nebraska Press.
Today’s Write the Book Prompt was suggested by my second
guest on the show. Heath Hardage Lee suggests that, when seeking new material,
you look in your own back yard. Remember that she discovered Winnie Davis by
happening to notice her portrait while her mothers’ friends were playing
bridge. Likewise, be sure to look closely at your own city or community for
material that is exciting or unusual. Often we miss what’s right in front of
Good luck with this prompt and please listen next week for another.
1) “Dreaming 1″ - John Fink; 2) “Filter” - Dorset Greens (a Vermont
band featuring several former South Burlington High School students, now
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