Check out these craft essays in the September issue of Brevity – online:
Exploring Intersections: An Exercise in Dismembering and Remembering Selves by Lockie Hunter
A writing exercise that has generated a great deal of excitement in my nonfiction classes is one I call the “self-adjectives” exercise. Its intent – to locate your interests and passions by listing self-descriptors – is similar to Sherry Simpson’s “tiny masters” exercise (Brevity craft essay, Issue 28) and rarely failed to spawn enthusiastic responses…until I began teaching at Warren Wilson College.
The Wonder of Geese by Bryan Furuness
One of the worst teachers I ever had was a man named Sam, who led my first writing workshop in graduate school. He used to stop class whenever geese flew past the window. “Geese!” he’d say, interrupting whoever was speaking, even if it was himself. The class would look dutifully at the geese, and some ass-kisser would say, “Wow,” or, “That’s really something, how they V up.” By the time we’d get back to the discussion, Sam would have forgotten what we’d been talking about, and everyone else would pretend to have forgotten, too. But not me.
Q&A: Using Tension and the Narrative Arc by Brendan O’Meara
An interview with Thomas French, Pulitzer prize-winning journalist and author of the New York Times bestseller Zoo Story: Life in the Garden of Captives, on the challenges of long-form journalism and how the writer uses tension in the story to create a dramatic narrative.