Archive | writing RSS feed for this section
girl reading

New theories on why we can’t – or don’t – read

Scientists and scholars are taking a closer look at that question these days and are coming up with some interesting, and occasionally surprising, answers.

Read full story Comments { 0 }
Henry Watson Fowler

A bit of wisdom from Henry Watson Fowler

Fowler’s Dictionary of Modern English Usage is still one of the best references for those interested in how the language is used.

Read full story Comments { 0 }
Edgar Allen Poe

Edgar Allen Poe and the development of the mystery novel

Poe lays down the rules of a mystery novel.

Read full story Comments { 0 }
Sue Grafton

G is for Grafton: Mystery writer Sue Grafton succumbs to cancer at age 77

Sue Grafton’s private eye, Kinsey Millhone, has taken her place beside Hammett’s Sam Spade, Chandler’s Phillip Marlowe, and Macdonald’s Lew Archer.

Read full story Comments { 0 }
Dashiell Hammett (watercolor, Jim Stovall, 2017)

The ‘private eye,’ in the beginning: Dashiell Hammett

Dashiell Hammett knew what a private detective should be. He knew because he had been one, and he had been taught by the very best. Born in Maryland in 1894, Hammett had failed at most everything he tried in the first two decades of his life. Intelligent, tall, and handsome, he did not finish school, […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }
The Private Eye (watercolor by Jim Stovall)

Trouble is their business: the ‘private eye’ and the writers who created them

The opening scene of Raymond Chandler’s story Trouble is My Business tells you a lot in a very few words about Chandler’s “private eye,” Phillip Marlowe. Marlow is talking to a woman who runs a detective agency, a big one with several agents. But none of her people is suitable for the job she has. […]

Read full story Comments { 2 }
James Callan

Where ideas come from: One author’s journey

James Callan is a fiction writer who was introduced to newsletter readers several weeks ago. He is the author of the Father Frank mysteries, the first of which is Cleansed by Fire, a roaring good adventure with lots of action and interesting characters. Here are a few questions that James was kind enough to answer. […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }
Lillian Ross

Lillian Ross, reporter and precursor of the 1960s New Journalism movement

Was she the mother of the New Journalism movement of the 1960s — the movement that showcased the deep reporting of people like Truman Capote and Gay Talese? Many people thought so. Lillian Ross, who died Sept. 20, 2017, at the age of 99, was doing that kind of reporting and writing for the New […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }

Philip Yancey on reading and building a ‘fortress of habits’

Read. Think. Meditate/Pray. Listen. Who among us does enough of these vital activities? Who has the time? Who has the power to turn away from our Facebook feeds, tweets and texts, television ads, sidebars and come-ons — even our Distractor-in-Chief — to do the things we know would nourish us emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually? Religious […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }

Another passing: the NYT copy desk

The copy desk saved me — more than once. In old-times newspaper terms, the copy desk in a newspaper’s newsroom was a horseshoe shaped table around which sat a number of editors who read what reporters wrote. On the other side of the table in the “slot” was the chief copy editor who handed out […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }
Dean Acheson

Clear thinking, clear writing – and words relevant for today

For a long time we have gone along with some well-tested principles of conduct: that it was better to tell the truth than falsehoods; that a half-truth was no truth at all; that duties were older than and as fundamental as rights; that, as Justice Holmes put it, the mode by which the inevitable came […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }

Reviews, they always help; Battlelines: the complete Gettysburg

Jim Stovall’s email newsletter for July 14, 2017 Hi there, I hope you’ve had a good week and are looking forward to the weekend. Reviews Writers always want people to read their books, and they want their readers to love what they read. But what the writer needs is honesty. That’s why I alway suggest […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }
E.B. White

E.B. White on a writer’s responsibility

One of the great writers — a true craftsman — of the the 20th century, E.B. White, had this to say on the responsibility that writers have: “A writer should concern himself with whatever absorbs his fancy, stirs his heart, and unlimbers his typewriter. I feel no obligation to deal with politics. I do feel […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }
words

Literary journalism, explained

If it is to be literary journalism, the writer must be a journalist, not a fiction writer. That is, the writer cannot make anything up. The facts, descriptions and quotations must be true. They must be things that happened. Sometimes, for the sake of the story, writes create “composite” scenes or characters. If they do […]

Read full story Comments are closed
The Silent Sentinels outside the White House, 1917

In which I answer the question, “What’s next?”, part 2: the suffrage ladies and me

The suffrage ladies may not be done with me. Those were the women who, between 1910 and 1920, affected the most profound change in the make-up of the electorate in the history of the Republic. In 2013, Seeing Suffrage was published by the University of Tennessee Press. The book was about the 1913 Washington suffrage […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }

Author: I didn’t want to resort to self-publishing, but it’s an exhilarating change

Louise Walters: My debut novel did very well with conventional publishers, but they weren’t interested in the ‘difficult second’ – so I’m going it alone Source: I didn’t want to resort to self-publishing, but it’s an exhilarating change Louise Walters describes what it’s like to have a second novel turned down after success with a […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }

Self-published author: Why I’m Mad About the Self-Publishing Stigma

The good sense — even the morality — of self-publishing is blindingly obvious to some of us. So, doesn’t everyone see it that way. We need to be reminded that, no, everyone doesn’t see it that way. Most the world, including a few intelligent souls, see it otherwise. Self-published author Liz Long has a good […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }

Can You Afford to Get Published? Well, yes

The original post, Can You Afford to Get Published?, by Kate Flora appeared on the Maine Crime Writers website, but I am re-posting this from The Passive Voice because of the many insightful comments that it drew. Author Flora laments the fact that she makes so little money for all of her efforts at writing. […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }

A straight-forward defense of self publishing

Gene Doucette has a pretty straight-forward defense of self-publishing for those who think that getting a traditional publisher makes your work somehow “better.” Worth the read: The Self-Published Authors Standing On Your Lawn | G. Doucette For reasons I’ve never been entirely clear on, when the newspaper industry began its slow decline, the very best version of […]

Read full story Comments { 0 }
bookstack3-142x3001

Pronoun, a new way to self-publish — maybe

Update: Lots more skepticism about Pronoun in the blogosphere. See the comments here at The Passive Voice. (Posted June 19, 2015) … Pronoun, a site and system that helps authors self publish, has announced a new manifesto — How to fix book publishing — and has raised $3.5 million in its efforts to do so. […]

Read full story Comments are closed
Share