Sunday, August 25, 2013


Answer two of three of the following questions:

1)What seems to you "modern" about Stephen Crane's "When Man Falls, Crowd Gathers"? Voice? Style? Structure? Theme? Please elaborate.

2) Please follow the link below. How is its discussion or definition of "creative nonfiction" applicable to Crane's piece, "An Experiment in Misery"?

3) Morris Markey's piece, "Drift," belongs to a subgenre referred to as "the procedural." To your mind, what characteristics of the piece make it an example of the genre? How does this help with or determine the structure/organization of the piece?

Remember, we're practicing good writing here, not just literary analysis. Your comments should be crisp and clear. Avoid generalizations, tortured syntax, and muddy language.

Your response is due Tuesday, Sept. 3, 4 p.m. No late responses will be accepted -- ever.

Btw, the "youth" in "Experiment. . ." is Crane, who did the "experiment" by impersonating a tramp. A prologue to the original article in the NY Press made that clear.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Elmore Leonard's Ten Rules of Writing

1. Never open a book with weather.
2. Avoid prologues.
3. Never use a verb other than "said" to carry dialogue.
4. Never use an adverb to modify the verb "said”…he admonished gravely.
5. Keep your exclamation points under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose.
6. Never use the words "suddenly" or "all hell broke loose."
7. Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly.
8. Avoid detailed descriptions of characters.
9. Don't go into great detail describing places and things.
10. Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.

 His most important rule is one that sums up the 10.
“If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.”