The Art of the Story

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Dear Subscriber,

I don’t usually discuss the craft of writing too much to my readers. However, when it comes to artists like Joyce Carol Oates, from whom I have learned so much, I make an exception. If you, or anybody you know, wants to see and learn from a master at developing the “inner world” of a character–especially characters used in historical fiction–then Joyce’s series of books called “The Art of the Story” is a collection you should read. She also teaches a pretty good Master Class on the “Art of the Story,” although as an author, I can’t emphasize enough that it is through reading another writer’s style and work that one learns the most. Also, in my opinion, a great imagination is either “there” or it’s “not.” No amount of reading will give you imagination talents. If you disagree, please let me know why.

Also, in this video, Joyce discusses the two types of research and writing authors do when they craft. One comes from the unconscious and imaginary inner world, and the other from the “real world” of facts and objects.

Wild Nights

Click on cover to watch Ms. Oates discuss this book.

So, if you write, then I hope this inspires you to keep going. You may not reach the artistic status of Ms. Oates, but you can always improve your craft. By the way, my story about the “almost last days” of Edgar Allan Poe, Cousins, is free in the October promotion Thrilling Fall.

Thanks for your attention and keep reading and writing!

James Musgrave

San Diego, CA


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