The Fascinating Neuroscience of Scene

Susan DeFCreative WritingLeave a Comment

There are two fundamental modes in fictional storytelling: summary and scene. Summary is the storyteller’s voice—the one that leads us skillfully through the story, collapsing and condensing time as necessary in order leave out the irrelevant bits, and tell us what we need to know, in terms of background info on the story. Scene is the story itself, unfolding in … Read More

The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction

Susan DeFfictionLeave a Comment

I recently finished Life Is Everywhere, a novel by Lucy Ives. Though to call it a novel is a bit of a stretch: it’s really more of a frame story with some stories-within-stories stuffed in the middle, the conceit being that these are the texts the protagonist just happens to have in her bag when she winds up unexpectedly spending … Read More

Falling Down at the Finish Line?

Susan DeFclassesLeave a Comment

I had the honor of presenting a class for Jane Friedman that you might think of as the expanded, class-sized version of one of my most popular posts for her, The Alchemy of Emotion. In this class, I covered the ways that emotion is generated in long-form fiction at three very important, very distinct levels: At the level of the story … Read More