Let’s talk character! Two quotes attributed to F. Scott Fitzgerald are “Character is plot, plot is character” and “Action is character.” Sure, we can’t all create Gatsby in the context of Gatsby, but that’s not the point or the objective. The objective is to create a character that flows within the context of whatever story … Continue reading Characters and Characterization
Writers who don’t read or write aren't uncommon. You find them in the overworked, under- caffeinated college student, in the exhausted stay-at-home mom. You’ll even find one in me, an editor for a college literary magazine. Writers who don’t read or write are perfectly common.
One of the most beautiful features of fiction is that it can speak to experience. A well written piece on terminal illness can positively impact readers.
Recently, the editors of the Oakland Arts Review sat down and we discussed what good writing meant, to us at least. So, what is good writing? I’m not going to sit here and pretend to know what the answer to that questions is because I think it varies from person to person. What I think … Continue reading What Is Good Writing?
Many writers go to university writing centers for help with academic writing, such as essays and assignments for classes, but what about creative writing? Writing centers, like the Oakland University Writing Center (OUWC), provide an invaluable resource to writers looking to improve their ability and their papers; however, many writers may not consider that the … Continue reading Using University Writing Centers as a Creative Writer
I've read works of literature with vastly different narrative styles—from instant messaging to an old bowl with different owners. Some of the books I've read have impacted the way I write and challenged me to be more creative with narration. When first writing short stories in high school, I never wrote anything other than first-person, … Continue reading Exploring Narrative Styles
When describing a character’s feelings, skillful writers do not just “tell” the reader how the character feels. They “show” by using imagery. Imagery is a language that paints vivid pictures for the reader. It often appeals to the Five senses: sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. Sight: how does it look? Sound: What does the … Continue reading Show and Tell
Grief is an experience not many can understand or comprehend. It may be easy for some to overcome and for others the pain may feel unbearable. Over the past few weeks in dealing with it personally I've understood that. I know I have struggled with grief personally for years and recently with the loss of … Continue reading Finding Peace With Your Grief Through Your Writing
Ah, kids. They say the craziest things. They also tell the most interesting, compelling stories that make absolutely no sense at all. Or at least, I did when I was a kid. I have a box in my basement that’s just full of weird stories I wrote when I was younger—a kingdom of cats … Continue reading Why You Should Look Back at the Stories You Wrote as a Kid
Despite the occasional vague pronoun reference or f-bomb, I've always fancied myself a relatively articulate and polite English speaker (growing up so close to Canada has its consequences). En français, however, I undergo a Jekyll-like transformation from Midwestern Judith Martin to angry truck driver doing stand up for the French navy. A typical conversation is … Continue reading Sappho in Paris: The Poetic Value of Lexical Cosmopolitanism