Flashbacks Can Be Overused — Here’s One Way To Get The Same Effect With A Slightly Different Technique

Flashbacks, like so many writing tools, can be done successfully but are often overused. And this is coming from a guy who wrote a book with loads of flashbacks — whole chapters of flashbacks. But I see people use them too much, and I notice myself leaning on them at…

A quick expansion on a tweet.

I wrote this tweet about writing and prose style on Friday, and it went like this:

Active voice > passive voice.

Verbs > adjectives > adverbs.

Fewer words > more words.

People had very strong reactions to it, which surprised me, mostly because I’m not the first person to put…

Hint: It’s Not Your Word Count

The Philadelphia Phillies recently hired Gabe Kapler as their new manager and he is, well, something else. He certainly makes every man in the region feel a little inadequate…

He says he’s intense, and the guy looks the part.

Gabe Kapler: super intense dude.

In his first interview he said:

“Intensity does not mean impatience…

Short stories aren’t long stories jammed into fewer pages, they require their own conception and techniques.

A few weeks ago, during a residency for my MFA students, I consistently said that short stories are not condensed stories, they’re distilled stories. I stand by that statement, but when I posted it on social media a few weeks ago people asked for a more detailed explanation. …

I was recently discussing a story with a student of mine who had gotten the “so what?” response in workshop. If you’ve never heard that term, it sounds harsher than it is, and in the right context is actually a legitimate critique.

I’ve been over this several times with many…

It Seems Like Most People Really Just Want A Good Performance

My first thought upon hearing the announcement that Jodie Whittaker will be the new Doctor and the first woman to perform the role of the Time Lord: I hope she’s good.

Funny. That’s the same thought I had with every other new Doctor. …

It Makes A Statement Of Quality Under The Guise Of A Description Of Content

For years I’ve used the term “literary fiction” with my students and always put an asterisk next to it. I don’t like the term, I think it doesn’t actually describe what people use it to describe, and it’s pejorative to other genres of writing.

When we talk about “literary fiction”…

Joshua Isard

Author of Conquistador of the Useless, a novel. Director of Arcadia’s MFA Program in Creative Writing. Shooting the wall.

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