The Craft: The Ends of Analysis

Inside the Writer’s Mind

[This is part of a continuing series on the art of writing fiction.]

I’ve talked a lot on this blog about the craft of writing fiction. About my five top rules for writing from “Get Black on White” and “NO CRITIC” to “Stick to What Works.” I’ve talked about “Grip,” about making your characters endure often painful conflict andDemotivational Death Star metamorphosis and about writing what you love. But there’s a limit to what you can figure out about writing. What you can, alas, put into words. Some things in writing, you just have to let be, without explanation.

I’ve felt this especially keenly lately. I feel I’ve learned a tremendous amount about writing fiction this year, especially about writing short stories. But I feel most of it is incommunicable.

These things are hard to characterize, but they’re things like:

  • Knowing…

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