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Tag Archives: John Updike

Characters as Chess Pieces: Nabokov and The Luzhin Defense

Book cover for The Luzhin Defense

Author’s Note: Fiction writer Howard Cincotta wrote today’s Ras-curated guest post. The image of the author as puppet or chess master, coolly manipulating his or her characters – or even sacrificing them to the demands of the story – is … Read more »

The Blog-to-Book Fantasy

Mock highway sign: "Blogging 101."

When I teach introductory courses on blogging, sooner or later a student will always raise a version of this question: what about a book? Can’t you put together a bunch of your blog posts and make a book that publishers … Read more »

Tips for Writers: Point of View

photo of novelist John Updike.

In my last post I made a distinction between the level of detail expected from writers in the Low Lit Tradition versus those who aspire to High Lit.. Robert B. Parker, master of Low Lit, handles character entrances like a … Read more »

Word Processing: Boon or Bane for Writers?

Photo of early IBM word processor.

I was working as a magazine writer and editor back in the late 1970s when one of my colleagues told me about this great new tool. “Word processing” he called it. I tend to be a skeptic where technology is … Read more »

My Indispensable Books

Photo of masks representing the Four Ages of Man

My last post talked about Ronald B. Shwartz’s compilation For the Love of Books, in which 115 writers revealed the three to six books that had influenced them the most. Naturally, I’ve been pondering what I’d say if assigned this … Read more »

Ras: Six Subversive Novels

A failure to communicate?