Hollywood is rediscovering the Bible. (You can read about it here.) They have this to say: Hollywood has the best storytellers. And religion has the best stories. Well, OK. And then there’s this: There’s creative interpretation that goes into things that aren’t directly addressed in the underlying material, and so you always run the risk […]

Novels are tricky. Is upbeat artificial? Is dystopian faithless? Are plot line and characterization exclusive? Robert D. Kaplan’s new book, The Revenge of Geography, hints at the link between realistic characters and complex scenarios: Geography is common sense, but it is not fate. Individual choice operates within a certain geographical and historical context, which affects decisions […]

Whether or not I agree, I’m honored to be part of the conversation when you . . . Represent the opposition accurately (no straw men) Speak with confidence (no defensiveness) Address me as a peer (no talking down to the reader) Remain calm (no shrill crescendos) Treat me with respect (nothing uncharitable) Give me something […]

There’s writing and there’s pruning. Both benefit from practice. Here’s a pruning exercise to hone your valuation of words. Tell a story in exactly one hundred words. You can condense a novel (Les Miserables!), render some portion of a larger story, or make it up. Just give it enough arc to satisfy the reader and […]