Posts Tagged: Ploughshares

Playing a Book

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When I got older, I discovered that this sense of play wasn’t limited to the young. There were plenty of adults out there writing radically experimental books formally guided by the notion that a book could be more than a book—it could be a vexing puzzle, a winding labyrinth, a stubborn gauntlet, a spooky carnival full of creaky rides, even a sandbox.

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Notes on Craft

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“Craft” is a fluid term; used in aeronautics and astronautics to speak of a single vessel, or the skill of deception, or a verb analogous to “make.” Craft in literature is comprised of narrative elements and literary devices: the nuts and bolts of what makes a story a story.

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Hunting the Pages

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I find the threat of predation satisfying in a short story because, when done well, it solicits a visceral reaction. The etymology of the word visceral can be traced to the Latin word viscera, which was used to refer to internal organs; the plural term, viscus, refers to “flesh.” A visceral reaction refers to an instinctual reaction, as opposed to an intellectual reaction.

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An Ideal MFA

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How would a writer without an MFA imagine an ideal Creative Writing degree program? Over at Ploughshares, Rebecca Makkai invites you to consider her optimal 2015/2016 course catalog, warning that “the course offerings will be much more practical than “Problems in Modern Fiction.” We’ll cover the things you need to know.

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