“A master of the short story” discusses every aspect of the writing process, from story structure to staying focused, in this candid essay collection (Booklist).
Ron Carlson’s short stories have been featured in The New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, and elsewhere, while his numerous collections have won critical acclaim. In this series of personal essays, Carlson explores his own process, inviting the reader to watch over his shoulder as he creates the short story “The Governor’s Ball.”
“This is the story of a story,” Carlson tells us. But as he crafts a tale, he also offers practical advice for writers, covering everything from the first glimmer of an idea to the final sentence. Carlson urges the writer to refuse the outside distractions—a second cup of coffee, a troll through the dictionary—and attend to the necessity of uncertainty, the pleasures of an unfolding story.
“The Governor’s Ball”—included in its entirety—serves as a fascinating illustration of the detailed anatomy of a short story.