Teaching point: writers don’t rely on punctuation to convey emotion

Good narrative writers (fiction and some types of nonfiction) don’t rely on punctuation to convey emotion. Good writers know that characters convey emotion. Their body language, their actions, and their speech reveal what they feel.

This is something I often teach: a string of exclamation points in your text is an invitation to go back to your writer’s notebook…It’s an invitation to excavate or dig deeper.

Endings: What Can You Teach?

…The artist in me wants to say that writers grapple with
many complicated questions when deciding on an ending. We do more than just decide what shape we want the story arc to take. The work is bigger than that.

To me, endings are all about the take-away. What do you want readers to know, feel, do, think or wonder about after they finish reading your story? You can’t write an ending until you decide that.