Finished reading Nancy Kress's writing manual, Beginnings, Middles, & Ends. Good stuff. Some of what she says I recognize from her teaching at Clarion, but some is new.
The focus of the book is on structure and storytelling, not sentence-level prose. What your beginning must be like to draw the reader in, how the middle of the story or novel must deal with the issues raised at the beginning, and how to finish so that the reader is satisfied. She's got definite ideas about these things, and I think they're sound.
It's interesting to see echoes here of what I've read elsewhere. Example: the necessity of precision and detail, especially in the first paragraphs. I've run across similar thoughts from writers as diverse as Virginia Woolf and James Van Pelt. And I still see lots of manuscripts showing up at Lenox Avenue with foggy, ethereal, where-the-hell-are-we beginnings.
Lots of good stuff here. Nancy Kress's advice is, as always, organized and specific. Recommended.
== atatakaihito == warmhearted person
|Left radical is 'sun' (日). Right radical is a Non-General Use character which acts phonetically to express 'warmth'. It was originally a pictograph of two hands (top and bottom elements) and a knotted rope between them. Henshall suggests taking the middle elements of the right radical as a variant of hand (手), as a mnemonic: 'Three hands warming in the sun.'|