Ask The Writer
Your most pressing and perplexing questions about writing get answered here by Gotham teacher Brandi Reissenweber. If you have questions for our expert, you can submit them to [email protected]
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- Figurative Language
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- Short Stories
- Show Don't Tell
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I am writing a nonfiction book on a trial recently in the news. I have done thorough research and know the characters well. I want to share the feelings, thoughts, and motivations of my characters based on that research. I am getting some resistance from fiction writers who admonish me to be transparent in what they call speculation. My thinking is that the research informs my writing, and the reader will understand my sources by the time they have read the entire book. Am I wrong about this?
I'm writing a short story that relies on recent real-life events specifically, the rash of mass shootings and the demise of the Twinkie. I'm concerned that while these might be relevant to readers today, they might be less so even a few months from now, when the short might actually find its way into an editor's hands. How can a writer keep current events like these fresh and meaningful to later audiences?
I'm writing an article about a local author. The website where his book is listed for sale contains comments from his readers. I want to use a short sentence--four words--from one of these comments. Must I get permission from the person who posted the comment or, since the comment is already published on the bookseller's website, can I use the sentence without permission and simply cite the website as the source?
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