The Kefuffel over Alice Munro

Back on September 25, the author and literature instructor David Gilmour was quote as saying in an interview, I’m not interested in teaching books by women. I’ve never found—Virginia Woolf is the only writer that interests me as a woman writer, so I do teach one short story from Virginia Woolf. But once again, when I was given this job I said I would teach only the people that I […]

Show, don’t tell

One of the first aphorisms given to beginning writers is the old ‘show, don’t tell’ claim. Like any ‘rule’ of any endeavor, especially those of creative natures, it has as its basis some helpful advice, yet you also need to understand it, and then be able to understand when to break the rule. Afaik, this rule has its source in the tendency amongst us writers to summarize or to inform […]

Using alternatives for ‘said’

When you’re writing, do you use ‘said’ over and over, or do you go for variety by looking for alternatives? I had an internet discussion with a fellow writer (who turned out to be fifteen years old, the relevance of which I’ll get to in a moment). He argued that ‘said’ is a bland, weak word and that I should be using stronger alternatives. I argued that ‘said’ and ‘asked’ […]