Writing tips from Rick Bass

Author Rick Bass (The Ninemile Wolves,The Hermit’s Story, and many others)   visited my Short Story Writing class today. He read from his work, talked about being a geologist (and the moral choices that scientists face), the importance of nature, and reviewed these tips for good writing, paraphrased by me: 1. Make your first sentence your second strongest and your last sentance the strongest. 2. Use no more than 10% back story. 3. Discipline yourself to write every day. 4. Make your protagonist active. (It’s tempting to make the person a passive observer, but don’t.) 5. Sense details and specificity make the story believable. 6. Create trouble for your protagonist–isolation, uncertainty, etc. 7. Emotion, emotion. Here’s a photo with Rick and three of my students who were brave enough to have a photo snapped. photo-60

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