CategoryWriting

Pitching a Novel in 250 Words

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I’m getting near the end of my novel, THE SUITOR. Now comes one of the hardest parts: writing a pitch for it that will attract agents, editors, and readers. You write a book that runs around 100,000 words and then you have to explain its essence and build excitement in about 250 words. It’s kind of a sucky task, but writing a good pitch helps: Crystalize for me what the novel is...

Today in a Cemetery

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I visited Lee, Massachusetts today and found myself in the Fairmount Cemetery. It’s an old graveyard, with sections of leaning, faded granite slabs, many greened with lichen. Names and dates you’d need a rubbing to read. Other, newer sections were populated with obelisks and polished slabs. I walked among the gravestones and the air was cold and occasionally the sun peeked out and I...

One Story Detail is Bogging Me Down

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I seldom write about a novel I’m writing. That’s too meta for me. I rarely talk to others about my work in progress–I end up contradicting myself and sounding confused. It’s usually best if I let my writing do the talking for me. Today is the exception. Work-in-progress is a novel called (for now) THE SUITOR. The story centers on three characters: recent college-grad and...

Which One is Better–the Book or the Movie?

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The dictum says the book is always better than the movie. Consider: you read a great novel, get absorbed in the fictional world, accompany the characters on their journeys. Your imagination creates every face, pictures every scene. You lose yourself for pages and pages. You loved the book. You hate the movie. Or, at best, the movie is okay. They did a pretty good job repurposing this incredible...

Working Title: THE SUITOR

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When I’m working on a novel or a story, I’m always unsettled until I decide upon the title. Before that, the narrative seems unfocused and lacks direction. I’m not fully in control or sure what I’m writing about. Not that finding the title solves those other writing issues–far from it. But the right title is essential. A strong title has a way of clarifying the story...

My Love for Pecha Kucha

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One advantage of living near colleges and universities is that innovative galleries such as the Opalka Gallery at Sage College host Pecha Kucha nights. Pecha Kucha is a unique presentation format: you get 20 slides, each slide stays on screen for 20 seconds and then automatically advances to the next. You get exactly 6:40 to present (20 slides x 20 sec/per = 400 seconds = 6 minutes 40 seconds)...

Food Truck

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FOOD TRUCK David Klein None of us mentioned the food truck. Too much else required our attention. We had urgent stories to post about the seven confirmed dead and the eleven still missing. We had reports to write about the remnants of the hurricane that dumped six inches of rain in less than twenty–four hours and lifted the rivers and streams to record levels causing the Schoharie Creek in Fort...

In Praise of Clichés and Jargon

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Clichés are worn out, overused expressions that often express a popular or common idea. We all know them and understand their meanings. Therefore, it’s easy to reach for clichés when writing or speaking. “Light as a feather.” “Blind as a bat.” But as writers, we must purge clichés from our work. George Orwell once said, “Never use a metaphor, simile or figure of speech which you are used to...

Write for Expression, Not Recognition?

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I’ve been thinking a lot about artistic expression and its relationship to public recognition. A primary reason I write is to express myself. Whether I’m writing a novel or a journal entry, I’m trying to say something. Its meaning isn’t always clear to me, especially in the beginning, but eventually, through writing, I get there. It’s enormously satisfying to finish a piece of writing and feel...

Writing is Rewriting, Except for This

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See that photo? Those are all the drafts and notecards and spreadsheets–the mountain of writing and writing tools that finally led to that much smaller final product: my novel, STASH. In all my novels, I’ve rewritten scenes dozens of times. I’ve revised every sentence. I’ve drastically altered plots. Hatched and killed subplots. My characters: their motivations change...

Lake Placid, the Setting of My Novel-in-Progress

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This is a photo of Mirror Lake in the Village of Lake Placid in upstate New York. One of those lights on the far shore is a catalyst to my imagination. I am inexorably drawn to Lake Placid and the Adirondack Mountains. For its natural beauty. For the 46 High Peaks of the Adirondacks (those summits over 4,000 feet). For the lovely village and one of my favorite bookstores—The Bookstore Plus—which...

First Post is the Hardest

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Incredible how I had all these ideas to write about and when I go to write my first post my mind goes blank with fear. I didn’t expect it. As I writer, I usually dive in, and only later test the temperature of the water. Or even its depth. You can imagine some of the results I’ve gotten. I’m using this website as a personal experiment. Does it work for me as a writer? I think...

David Klein

Published novelist, creative writer, avid reader, discriminating screen watcher.

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