Steve Almond and the Allure of the Unlikeable

Craft, Reading, Steve Almond

About once a year, I take a fiction writing workshop through Harvard University’s Extension School. This fall, I observed something I hadn’t seen in previous years: many of the writers in the class seemed not to identify much with the flawed characters we encountered in stories by writers like Junot Diaz, Mary Gaitskill, and T. […]

Sky-dancers and Second Drafts

Charles Baxter, Denis Johnson, Reading, Research, Russell Banks

Today I’m working on a second draft of a story about a librarian who catalogs the lives of Tibetan saints and spends his off-work hours at a dive bar. At the bar he meets a woman he initially finds repulsive, but then warms to. That part of the story was partly inspired by a classic […]