Chad Harbach's new book is here! MFA vs NYC, an elegant, troll-to-fit title for the ages, identifying and reifying the Two Paths for the Writer in our time. But, Harbach's wonderful brain in The Art of Fielding and the likely excellence of every essay in this book (Emily Gould on debt!) notwithstanding, everything about this discussion leaves me cold.
Minus a certain amount of personal neurosis, I should be the exact audience at which MFA vs. NYC is aimed. I am an aspiring novelist interested in the apparatus of any system that produces stability for writers, and I have spent the last year dividing my attention almost 50/50 [...]
1. “It doesn't take very long for most _____ers to realize that if you wait until the day you… feel like _____ing you'll never do it at all.”
2. "If you want to become the best _____er you can be, start now. Don't spend the rest of your life wondering if you can do it."
3. “It is not so much that I began to _____, but that I continued.”
4. “It's none of their business that you have to learn how to _____. Let them think you were born that way.”
5. “And why don't you _____? _____! _____ing is for you, you are for you; your body is yours, [...]
Today is National Punctuation Day, a day in which Americans should let their hearts fill with gladness over the rightful period, the stalwart semi-colon, the courageous colon, the occasionally overwrought exclamation point. Writing would be nothing without them and their kin. Truth be told, Punctuation Day, much like Mother's Day, is a holiday you really should celebrate every day of the year. But, as with Mother's Day, sometimes you forget to offer much in terms of appreciation the rest of the year.
Today is a day in which to remember, and honor, our dear marks.
It was dark in the bar, and as she entered, she squinted her eyes in [...]
Matt Pericoli, a creative writing professor, teaches a course called the "Laboratory of Literary Architecture," which includes an assignment to "physically build the literary architecture of a text." The Times excerpted from his students' work last week, and the results are fascinating. Here's Pericoli describing the project:
Each student brings to class a novel, a short story or an essay whose inner workings he or she knows intimately. We start with the plot, the subject or simply a feeling that the student has about the text. We break the piece of writing down into its most basic elements and analyze the relationship of each part to the overall [...]