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Posts tagged ‘The Writer magazine’

How one award-winning writer finds story ideas in unlikely places

I find that the oddest moments or most unlikely observations have a way of providing material for stories and poems.

In an interview with Amy Purcell, who won first place in The Writer magazine’s Short Story Contest, she says she loves nature, is an avid reader of National Geographic, and often tears out pages about subjects that could serve as metaphors. She uses imagery of bees in her award-winning story, Home Repair, which was inspired by a trip to Home Depot. (See the February 2013 issue for more details, including winning entries for second and third place).

Random interactions often reveal details and nuances of people that I find I can use in poetry. Last summer, a landscaper who was sleuthing the source of a leak in my yard’s irrigation system inspired a poem about the hardness of life. Read more

How to create memories for your characters

In an interview with author and journalist Pete Hamill, he explains how he researches his novels and in the process creates memories for his fictional characters.

If his fiction is set in the past, he reads histories, letters, memoirs and old newspapers.

“Then I let my notes marinate for awhile, usually a few months, until they become memory…the memory of one or more of the characters.”

Many newspapers have placed archives online and for older editions of newspapers that aren’t online, check the archives at your library. You’ll also find letters, artifacts, photos, and historical documents at local and state libraries and historical societies.

Read the full interview with Hamill in the December 2011 issue of The Writer magazine.