Category Archives: The Writer’s Desk

Windmill Variations: In Defense of Message-Driven Fiction

I suspect inopportune literalism is the primary limiting factor in my confusion as to why good fiction must not, dare not, shall not contain a message. I read the books that others tell me are “good” and I see messages aplenty, and more often than not I see aggressive arguments for particular viewpoints. Scout may pretend to be unformed and open-minded, but “To Kill A Mockingbird” leaves no doubts about what the author believes are better (and lesser) moral conclusions through her voice. Continue reading

Posted in Community Voices, Storytelling and Community, The Populist's Soapbox, The Writer's Desk | Tagged | 3 Comments

Writing Compelling Characters

This post is a blast from the past on my blog. I originally delved into this topic two years ago, here. Since I’m still doing revisions on my next novel, I’ve been looking at each character, examining them to make … Continue reading

Posted in Mysterious Doings, The Writer's Desk | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Afterlife of an AML Conference Presentation

This month I couldn’t decide whether to write about the Four Centuries of Mormon Stories Contest or about how my 2012 AML Presentation informed my soon-to-be-available book. So I posted both, and will let you take your pick. In 2010, … Continue reading

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The Mystery of the Muse

The guest post today was provided by the talented author, J. Lloyd Morgan. He shares his thoughts on a great creative topic–the muse–which I’ve often found must be treated gently. Mine at times requires chocolate.   The Mystery of the … Continue reading

Posted in Mormon LitCrit, Mysterious Doings, The Writer's Desk | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

One Irreantum Judge’s Take on this Year’s Contests

A few weeks ago, I helped judge the Irreantum contests in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. It’s the second year I’ve done so, and it’s been an absolute joy both times. Mormon literature is an eclectic thing. It’s quirky and serious … Continue reading

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Can a Fiction Writer be Guileless?

My son called me last week to let me know he was on a bike ride. I asked where he was going. “To hunt zombies,” he said. “Oh honey,” I answered, “they don’t even come out until night. And you … Continue reading

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Writing the Hard History

I have posted this elsewhere in the past, but with the publication of The Fading Flower by Zarahemla Books recently, and that play being more readily available now, I wanted to drag this post back into the light: I have … Continue reading

Posted in On-stage, The Past through Literature, The Writer's Desk | 10 Comments

From the Writer’s Desk: The Writer’s Eye

While in Utah visiting family and friends, I ride the Trax light rail from downtown Salt Lake City to Sandy. It’s Friday afternoon and the train is full. I stand near the door, holding onto the metal bar overhead. A … Continue reading

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My opening line: “I don’t know what I’m doing, but that’s never stopped me before.” That’s what I said to a famous filmmaker I was meeting with to get some advice. I’m making a feature film. No, I have never … Continue reading

Posted in Community Voices, On-screen, The Writer's Desk | 5 Comments

Making More Time to Write!

I invited best-selling author and motivational speaker, Connie Sokol, to guest post today. She graciously agreed to share her secrets for making more time to write! I love her ideas and insight and hope you will too. For most female … Continue reading

Posted in Community Voices, Mysterious Doings, The Writer's Desk | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments