I’d barely unpacked my bags for my first grad school residency when I heard about one of the most revered teachers and mentors in the program, an accomplished horror author. “He’s brutal in his critiques,” an upperclassman informed me, “but if you survive, he’ll help you become a really good writer.”  He paused and said, “You’ll never get…

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My writer’s group takes turns leading mini-workshops on aspects of fiction writing. Recently, it was my turn. The subject was upping the stakes in our stories. When I re-read Donald Maass’s chapter on stakes from his outstanding  WRITING THE BREAKOUT NOVEL,

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