Flexible Instruments: Writing in Different Genres

About our guest blogger:

Joe L. Murr has lived on every continent except Antarctica.  He now divides his time between the Netherlands and Finland.  His stories have been published in magazines such as Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Chizine, Noir Nation and here at Cecile’s Writers, and are forthcoming in Helsinki Noir (Akashic Books) and The Summer of Lovecraft (Chaosium).  For more stories and ruminations, visit www.joelmurrauthor.com

Flexible Instruments: Writing in Different Genres

Every act of definition means imposing limitations.

Case in point: consider “genre fiction.”  Take a moment.  Define it.

All done?

Now define “literary fiction.”

Okay.  Keep those definitions in mind.  Let’s roll.

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Featuring: Dogpatch Writers Collective

DWCHello from Dogpatch Writers Collective. We’re a mixed breed pack that’s been barking up the write tree since 2000. The DWC takes its name from the historic San Francisco neighborhood where the original members gathered to exchange and discuss their written work.

We’re honored to be asked to provide a guest post. At the Dogpatch we often post excerpts from our group writing critiques, so we thought we’d offer a snippet of our methodology.

DWC owes its existence in large part to the wonderful writer and teacher Margo Perin, contributor/editor of Only the Dead Can Kill and How I Learned to Cook. Some of our original members met in a writing class Margo taught in San Francisco where she modeled a style of story critique we gladly adopted for our writing group and use to this day. Read More

Cut the Last Line, and Other Lessons in the Short Story

About our guest blogger:

Cynthia J. McGean is a Portland-based teacher and writer with a background in theater and social services. Her work includes novels, short stories, children’s stories and scripts for stage and radio. She loves stories with depth and complexity that aren’t afraid of the dark side of life.

Cut the Last Line, and Other Lessons in the Short Story

Over the past few months, I’ve embarked on a self-taught exploration of the short story, as I battle to improve my skills in this form and to build a presence and platform through it.  I’ve been reading a wide range of short stories, in literary magazines and in collections of all sorts.  Here’s some of what I’ve learned to make my own short stories better. Maybe it will be helpful to you, too.

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