the machinery of storytelling

The more I write, the more I come to think of storytelling as building a machine. The basic formula for story is a character who wants something and must confront an obstacle in the pursuit of that desire. But there are other parts to the machine as well, with metaphors, images, and tricks of languageContinue reading “the machinery of storytelling”

the stories we tell

I’ve been reading Patti Smith’s Year of the Monkey, which in light of recent events, feels all too apt. “A mortal folly comes over the world,” reads the epigraph from Antonin Artaud. Couldn’t have said it better myself. One passage in particular stood out, especially when read alongside James Wood’s How Fiction Works. As SmithContinue reading “the stories we tell”

writing and living

While plowing back through some of the old voice memos, I found a quote from a dear friend of mine, writer and musician Michael Winn. We were talking about writing and developing characters and he explained why he’d had such trouble capturing human life on the page: “Living your life makes you a good writer.Continue reading “writing and living”

if you want to write songs, write songs

I had an interesting conversation today. I met a woman who described herself as a songwriter. She told me she’d been in Los Angeles for five years, trying to work in the music industry. She works at a recording studio, for a producer who has worked with a bunch of musicians we’ve all heard of.Continue reading “if you want to write songs, write songs”