Monday, May 3, 2010

Learning the Inner Story, With Mary Carroll Moore: A Journey from Nonfiction to Novels

Mary Carroll Moore is an award-winning author, novelist, artist and teacher whose work has appeared over 200 publications. Her latest novel is Qualities of Light. Mary has a particular gift for helping writers find the emotional truth in their work to make it the best it can be. This week, she shares insights on transitions and the writing life.

AMA: What aspects of writing do you find most exciting, especially going from one genre to another?

MCM: An exciting aspect of the writing life, to me, is the option of skating into a new genre. I used to think my twelve years as a newspaper columnist, my twelve nonfiction books, would create a smooth transition to fiction. Was I ever wrong.

AMA: How did you transition from nonfiction to fiction?

MCM: I started writing short stories 10 years ago. Not so distant in form from a compact and focused newspaper column, the short story also has a beginning, middle, and end. But that's where the similarities stop. Not knowing this, I outlined a couple of story ideas, turned on the creative imagination, and waited for miracles. But my characters were flat as if they'd emerged from badly written sitcoms. They moved, they faced conflict, but essentially the story had no meaning. There was more to learning this new genre than I expected.

For more information, visit Mary Carroll Moore and her insightful blog, How to Plan, Write and Develop a Book.

For one the most well-known writing challenges, also visit National Novel Writing Month One, voted one of Writer's Digest's 101 best writing websites.

For information on the seventh-annual CAPA University writers' conference on May 8 in Hartford, CT, visit CAPA-U for more information. Keynote speakers are doctors Henry Lee and Jerry Labriola on "Writing True Crime."

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