Crossways

An Online Literary Magazine

Tag Archive for ‘writing’

The Short Story: An Arrow in Flight

In A Story with a Pattern, Mary Lavin’s protagonist is a writer, cornered by a man at a party who complains that her short stories are frustrating because they don’t have a beginning, a middle and an end.  Lavin, could capture stillness like few other writers, beautifully illustrating the fustiness of Irish society in the 1940’s and 50’s and hinting at the subversions rippling beneath the surface. She did this […]

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Form and Content: The Art of Editing

  According to Stephen King, to write is human, to edit divine. Anyone who writes will see sense in this. Especially poets. The Old English word for a poet is ‘Scop’ which translates literally as ‘shaper’. What else is poetry but an exercise in constant editing? And what else is editing but shaping and giving form to something? That is why Stephen King calls it divine. It is the most […]

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Homer’s Feast

I love the works of Homer. They are regarded by most literary historians as being the dawn of Western literature, having been written down probably sometime between 800 and 700 BC. There is a lot of dispute and debate about what we actually have, but surely the most important thing to remember is that what we have is wonderful. The Homer scholar, Eva Brann, has said that in every field […]

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Getting to the Good Stuff: The Art of Creative Writing

They say there is prose and verse and you can have poetry in either. This strikes me as true. Literature is an art, not a science. Living is an art, not a science. This is why the term ‘Arts’ is often associated with, and even interchangeable with, the term ‘Humanities’. The American poet, Jim Morrison, was once asked about the cross he wore around his neck at the Doors’ famous gig […]

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The Reflex: Writing in the Dark

The post is about writing and self-reflexivity or meta-fiction. It seems to me that writing is naturally self-reflexive. Especially creative writing. Why that is I don’t know but it goes back all the way to Homer’s epics and the dawn of Western literature. For those of you who don’t know, meta-fiction is basically fiction about fiction. It draws attention to its own conventions and rules and inner workings. It ‘deconstructs’ […]

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Facing the White Bull: the Discipline of Creative Writing

Anyone who has written a book will know the importance of discipline. Getting up at roughly the same hour every morning and sitting down at the computer to ‘face the white bull’ as D.H. Lawrence called it. Every writer has their own way of doing things. Dark fantasy author, Clive Barker, always writes the first sentence of a new chapter at the end of his working day so’s he isn’t […]

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