Author Archives: mbacigalupo

How to Open a Work of Fiction—Part One

Every writer’s toolkit should include best practices for quickly drawing readers into the fictive universe. To this end, a large body of craft literature exists on the subject of novel and short story openings. Some tell us, Go for the visceral punch. Others say, Grab the reader’s attention in the first sentence, Arouse her curiosity,… Continue Reading

Why I Write: A Manifesto

A host of indie and traditionally published writers are exhorting authors to share a manifesto with their followers. The dictionary defines manifesto as a statement of values, beliefs and goals. As applied to our profession, it is designed to remind us why we’re writers and to get us back on track when we’ve gone astray.… Continue Reading

What’s the Score on Flash Fiction?

How many words constitute flash fiction? What’s the cutoff? The number seems to vary according to publication. Up to 1000 words according to Smokelong.com and Flashfictiononline.com submissions criteria. For Vestalreview.com the cutoff is 500 words. Flash fiction is significantly shorter than short stories, but how short can fiction go and still be recognized as a… Continue Reading

Madoff’s Turn at the Wheel

It wasn’t until yesterday that I realized I was into the middle of the month and hadn’t posted for June. My memory had been swept away in a whirl of celebrations—graduations, birthdays, Mother’s Day. Well, then, better late than never, as “they” are so fond of saying. But what would I write about? Then I… Continue Reading

WRITING THAT NOVEL—WHERE TO BEGIN?

I’m lucky enough to have written and self-published a novel called Ninth-Month Midnight. (http://amzn.to/2q23pAP) But since then I’ve been going bonkers trying to get started on my next novel. I can’t begin to count the number of suggested approaches I’ve attempted to put into effect. The following are just a few of the resources I’ve… Continue Reading

Approaches to Structuring a Novel

I’ve been having a devil of a time shaping my novel in progress (in slooow progress). In revisiting resources, I’ve come to realize that all roads lead to Athens, that is, to Aristotle. In his Poetics Aristotle tells us that story, by which he means narrative literature, must have a beginning, a middle, and an… Continue Reading

Orwellian Resurgence: What’s It All About?

Given the current political scene, George Orwell’s work has re-emerged into prominence. His novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, was originally published in 1949, when the world faced the rising threat of Soviet totalitarianism. Today, almost seventy years later, the perceived threat is closer to home, and Orwell’s novel has skyrocketed onto Amazon’s bestseller list. In a 1974… Continue Reading